one point behind second place. The point
differential was convincing, considering that first place in an event only
awards 14 points.
ďIt was a total
team effort across all four of the events. I donít know if I have ever seen
a champion receive as many points spread so evenly across the events,Ē said
Chris Lowery. Policy debate led the way scoring 28 of the total team points,
but each of the other events scored at least 14 points for the team
Even in a team
effort, some performances naturally stand out. Junior Abby Burke defeated
her opponent from West Lafayette by a 5 – 0 decision to capture the
individual state title in Lincoln-Douglas debate. It was Chestertonís only
individual title. The event is coached jointly by Carol Biel and Shane
This marks the
first title for Smith and likely the last for Hall of Fame coach Carol Biel,
who has indicated her intent to take a step back from coaching next year.
Biel has coached a number of Indiana state champions as well as the 1990
National Champion and the 1989 National Runner-up. Burke won by taking the
affirmative position for the resolution that ĎDeveloping nations should
prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two
are in conflict.í
Eric Zhong narrowly missed the chance to make it an all Chesterton final
after he lost in semifinals on a 2 – 1 decision. Zhong and Burke both
qualified for the national tournament the previous weekend.
The team of Matt
Eggers and Salman Lakhani were state Runners-Up in the event of Public Forum
debate. Eggers and Lakhani just fell short of Chestertonís second individual
title; falling in the final round by a 3 – 2 vote against a team from
Munster High School. The teams of Taryn Trusty/Miranda Whah and Hannah
Vasquez/Jessica Ratel-Khan were quarterfinalists (top 8); while Tyler
Colvin/Nathan Burris were octafinalists (top 16).
In Policy debate,
Chesterton had two semifinalist teams (top 4). Nadia Mario/Katherine Bolek
and Zach Bogich/Alex Genetski each fell to West Lafayette teams in the
penultimate round. Kaley Brown and Emily Percifield finished as
quarterfinalists, while Tim Vincent/Joel Peterson were octafinalists.
Unlike the other
events, which pit individual debaters/team against each other, Congressional
debate involves a chamber of 18 individuals competing against each other.
Chesterton placed 3 individuals into the final round of competition. Mikaela
Meyer placed 3rd overall, followed by Andrew Caratini in 8th place. Don
Reinert was named a finalist. Also in Congress, Andrea Drygas qualified for
semifinals and Presiding Officer candidate JP Pritchard was named Speaker of
the House for qualifying for the Semifinal round.
Meyer was awarded
the Robert Brittain Mental Attitude award, the only award that is voted on
by the IHSFA board of directors. Mikaela was chosen not only for her
competitive success, but her academic success and her extensive service in
the communities of both Chesterton and Valparaiso.
The team was
rounded by out Corinne Leopold and Chris Krause, both of whom competed in
Lincoln-Douglas debate. The team was aided by observers/supporters from the
team including, Savannah Tipton, Eric Richardson, Mark Wilcox, Andrea Kovach
and Katie Green.
This is the 24th
overall State Debate title for Chesterton High School, an award that has
been given out annually since 1983. West Lafayette has the second highest
total with 6 overall. The 92 points awarded to Chesterton represents the
second highest point total ever scored at this tournament, surpassing
everything except for the 110.5 points scored by Chesterton in 2005.
The 25 person team
included 13 seniors. It was the first time participating on a State
Championship team for 18 of the 25 members. Chesterton is jointly coached by
Lowery, Smith, Biel, and first time coach Josh Coots and would like to thank
the community for their unwavering support to the Speech and Debate program
for over the past 45 years.