Speakers win state awards; six will advance to nationals

by Kaitlyn Do

Speech and Debate team members will compete at Novice Championships at Gabrielino High School May 12 and Nationals June 17-22 at Fort Lauderdale, FL.

After competing at the National Qualifier at San Marino High School March 16-17, senior Nowreen Rahman, junior Kelvin Torres and sophomores Anthony Atencio, Queen Chiwanga, Amaya Flores and Lily Magdesyan will advance to the national tournament.

Chiwanga and Rahman will compete in Original Oratory (OO), while Magdesyan and Torres will be competing in Dramatic Interpretation (DI). Atencio and Flores will be competing as a team in Duo Interpretation (DUO).

“It was a great season for us. We all worked tirelessly to qualify,” said Chiwanga. “This year was my novice year, but I accomplished so many things I have never even dreamed about. “

The Speech and Debate team competed at State Championships April 20-22 at Mountain House High School. Students who qualified were Chiwanga, Flores, Atencio, Magdesyan and Rahman. Sophomores Aileen Leon and Andrew Sani also qualified.

Leon and Rahman competed in OO, Chiwanga and Magdesyan in DI, Atencio and Flores as a team in DUO and Sani in OA.

Magdesyan and Chiwanga placed fifth in the final round and placed 10th in the semi-final round of DI, respectively. Leon finished seventh in the final round of OO and Atencio and Flores placed 16th in the semi-final round of DUO.

In preparation for State and National Championships, the team hosted their annual Spartan Aloha Invitational April 7-8 to raise money for travel expenses. In DI, Magdesyan, Torres and Chiwanga placed first, third and fourth, respectively. Atencio and Flores placed fourth in DUO.

Debaters will be performing their annual Night of A Thousand Laughs showcase June 1 in the auditorium. Tickets will be sold for $5 and can be purchased from a member or at the door. 

“Our showcase gives attendees an opportunity to appreciate the art of forensics and recognizes the hard work and sacrifice that always shows onstage,” said Tony Ugalde, speech and debate director. “This year has been great and I’m excited about the promise that these kids show. Our team is really proud of the goals we accomplished this year and look forward to our performance in the future.”

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