The Chesterton High
School Speech and Debate team finished the national tournament in Dallas
with its Debate squad winning a ‘school of honor’ award. The award is given
to the schools based upon the number of elimination rounds competed in. The
Honor division covers school ranked 21-40 in the nation. Although official
ranking are never released, Chesterton was near the top of the honor
division, as schools with one further round of competition made it into the
entries were able to qualify for the elimination rounds, thus scoring ‘team
points.’ Eric Zhong (LD debate) advanced the furthest by making it to the
10th round of the 15 round competition. He was joined by his teammate, Abby
Burke, for nearly the entire journey, until she was knocked out in the 9th
round of competition. Although placing outside of the top 14 are unofficial,
Zhong placed somewhere between 30 - 45th in the nation. Chesterton’s other
qualifier for elimination rounds was the Public Forum team of Matt Eggers
and Nathan Burris (9th round). The rest of the debate team was comprised of
Andrea Drygas (Congressional), Hannah Geiss (Congressional), Savannah Tipton
(Public Forum), Eric Richardson (Public Forum), Tim Vincent (Policy), Joel
Peterson (Policy), Nate Poczekay (Policy), and Fred Owens (Policy).
The Speech portion
of the team had a number of individual performances across their main events
and their supplemental/consolation events. Carley Lowe was the lone
‘Speechie’ to break in the main events. After the conclusion of her
octafinal rounds of competition, Lowe was tied for the next cut and
unfortunately lost on judges preference/reciprocal fractions. Lowe went on
to compete in Prose and was able to make it round 7, which was top 45 in the
competition. Ayesha Khan made it to round 6 in Prose, an event which started
with 350+ entries.
Izzy Portugal made
it the furthest in Storytelling, all the way to the Semifinal round of
competition before finally dropping. This was her first time competing in
the event, as Indiana doesn’t compete during the season in Storytelling and
her performance placed her somewhere in the top 20 in the Nation.
Other members of
the Speech squad included, Galen Wong (Oratory), Lexi Justak (Humor), Sam
Lee (Duo), Emily Coleman (Duo), Connor Wantuch (Extemp), Hayden Hodge (Extemp).
The team was
accompanied by coaches Chris Lowery, Bob Kelly, Josh Coots, Kirsten Reed,
Kayla Fleming, Eric Shaefer as well as judges Eric Dreischerf, Dakota McCoy,
Jessica Ratel-Khan, James Vincent, and Bob Billick.