Seven members of the Cary Academy Speech & Debate team traveled to Fort Lauderdale Florida the week of June 17th-22nd to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament. Senior Evan Ehrhardt capped off his career by placing sixth in Poetry Reading. After clearing out of the preliminary rounds of Dramatic Interpretation Evan was eliminated after the octafinal round placing him in the top 60 of 248 competitors. Evan was then one of 335 contestants who entered Poetry Reading. After 8 rounds of a double elimination format, Evan advanced to the final round which was held at the Broward County Convention Center. He placed 6th overall after competing in the final round where he performed his poetry program about the struggles of dealing with addiction. In addition RJ Jain reached the semifinals of the House in Congressional Debate for the second year in a row placing him in the top 70 of 258 entries. Other students participating were Will Aarons in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Izzy George in Original Oratory, Ben Lipson in House of Congressional Debate, Grace Wissink in Dramatic Interpretation, and Matthew Schaeffer in World Schools Debate.
12 members of the Cary Academy Speech and Debate team traveled to Washington, DC over Memorial Day weekend to participate in the National Catholic Forensic League's Grand National Tournament. Viraj Shah reached the Double Octafinal round of Lincoln Douglas Debate after completing prelims with a 4-1 record and winning 13 out of 15 possible ballots. He lost in the Double Octafinal round to the eventual tournament runner-up on a split 2-1 decision. In Public Forum Debate the team of Isaac Fan and Riya Thomas reached the runoff round/partial Triple Octafinals after completing prelims with a 4-1 record.
17 Cary Academy students traveled to Southern Pines over the weekend of April 14th & 15th to compete in the Tarheel Forensic League State Championship tournament. Cate Pitterle reached the final round of Extemporaneous Speaking placing 6th. Will Aarons reached the Quarterfinals of Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Eric Xing reached the Octafinal round of Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate.
The annual Tarheel East District tournament was held at Durham Academy over the weekend of March 24th and 25th, and after two intense days of competition CA emerged with 5 more students qualified to compete in this summer's national speech and debate tournament to be held in June in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Those students are:
On the debate side Will Aarons placed 2nd in Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Viraj Shah and Eric Xing advanced to the fifth round of LD before being eliminated. In Public Forum Debate the teams of Riya Thomas and Issac Fan and Nadeen Atieh and Amy Han advanced to the fifth round as well.
On the speech side CA had 12 entries reach the final round in the various events. Evan Ehrhardt and Grace Wissink closed out Dramatic Interpretation placing first and second respectively. Evan doubled qualified for the National Tournament by placing second in Program of Oral Interpretation. Evan was joined in the final round of POI by Ava Autry who placed 6th. Both Cade Spector and Ben Lipson double broke to finals in both United States and International Extemporaneous Speaking. Cade placed 3rd in both, and Ben placed 5th in each. Cade moved up to qualify to Nationals in United States Extemp based on double qualifications. Madisen Placzkowski also reached the finals of International Extemp placing 6th. In Original Oratory Elizabeth George placed first to qualify to Nationals, and Carolina Spancake was the first alternate to Nationals after placing 4th. Caroline also broke to finals in Informative Speaking where she placed 6th. In addition Lily Levin was a semifinalist in Original Oratory.
CA has now qualified for the National Tournament for 18 consecutive years, the longest active streak in the Tarheel East District. CA also has a 18 year streak of having at least one Extemper qualify for Nationals, as well as a six year streak of qualifying in Lincoln Douglas Debate and a five year streak of qualifying in Original Oratory.
9 members of the Cary Academy Speech and Debate team traveled to Fayetteville during the middle of their trimester break to compete in the Dogwood Speech and Debate League Novice Championship hosted by Cumberland International Early College on the campus of Gray's Creek High School. In spite of the limited number of students participating CA finished the day tied for second in overall sweepstakes. The team's effort was led by Eric Xing who was crowned the champion of Lincoln Douglas Debate after completing prelims undefeated with a perfect 4-0 record and winning both the semifinal and final round. Anisha Rostogi was 6th overall in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Sara George was named the champion of Poetry and Olivia Zimmerman was named the champion of Prose. George and Zimmerman also placed 3rd and 4th respectively in Declamation.
15 members of the CA Speech and Debate team traveled to Fayetteville on February 24th to compete in Tarheel East District National Qualifying Congress hosted by Massey Hill Classical High School. For the fourth year in a row CA qualified 2 students to participate in the National Student Congress as well as won sweepstakes for the District Congress tournament. Ben Lipson and RJ Jain will represent the Tarheel East District at Nationals in Fort Lauderdale Florida in June after being named the champions of House 2 and House 3 respectively. In addition Cade Spector was the first alternate in the Senate, Lexi Kleine was the first alternate in House 1, and Saajan Patel was the second alternate in House 1. Jonathan Segal placed 5th in the Senate and Alex Knott placed 6th in House 3 to round out CA's placements.
Nine members of the Cary Academy Speech and Debate team traveled to Charlotte over the weekend of February 24th to compete in the second annual Steven Davis Invitational hosted by Ardrey Kell High School. CA had an outstanding showing in Lincoln Douglas Debate as Will Aarons was named the tournament champion after winning the final round on a 2-1 decision. Will reached the final round by advancing over Viraj Shah on a coaches decision in the semifinal round. Oonagh Stevans just missed breaking after earning a 3-1 record and finishing prelims ranked 7th. In addition Will was the first place speaker, and Viraj was second.
20 members of the Cary Academy traveled to Cambridge Massachusetts to compete in the invitational tournament hosted by Harvard University over the weekend of February 16th -19th. Competing against students from 298 schools from 38 different states 7 CA students advanced to the elimination rounds in their respective events. RJ Jain and Lexi Kleine both advanced to the quarterfinals of Congressional Debate after placing 3rd and 5th in their preliminary chambers respectively. Ben Lipson and Saajan Patel both just missed out on clearing after placing 7th in their chambers. In Public Forum Debate the team of Arm Kassam and Matt Schaeffer reached the triple ocatfinal round of the varsity division before eliminated on a split 2-1 decision, and the team of Georgia Moorhead and Han Zhang reached the ocatfinals of the novice division before being knocked out on a spilt decision. Finally in Lincoln Douglas Debate Will Aarons was the 4th place speaker and advanced to the triple octafinal round where he also lost on a split 2-1 decision.
45 members of the Cary Academy Speech and Debate team traveled to Fayetteville on Saturday February 10th to participate in the final Dogwood Speech and Debate league tournament of the season hosted by Cumberland Polytechnic High School on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College. The team had it strongest showing of the season winning first place sweepstakes while earning more the double the points of the second and third place teams combined. CA students won eight different events, as well as closed out the top two spots in Declamation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate, Varsity Public Forum Debate, and Student Congress Chamber B. The following individual student placements contributed to the teams victory:
Grace Wissink- 1st Place, Dramatic Interpretation
Caroline Spancake- 1st Place, Informative Speaking
Sarah George- 1st Place, Declamation
Savannah Lu- 2nd Place, Declamation
Jonathan Segal-1st Place, Extemporaneous Speaking
Becca Segal-2nd Place, Extemporaneous Speaking
Oonagh Stevans- 1st Place, Varsity LD
Anthony Guzzo- 2nd Place, Varsity LD
Riya Thomas & Isaac Fan- 1st Place, Varsity PF
Arm Kassam & Matthew Schaeffer- 2nd Place, Varsity PF
Georgia Moorhead & Han Zhang- 1st Place, Novice PF
RJ Jain- 1st Place, Student Congress Chamber B
Lexi Kleine- 2nd Place, Student Congress Chamber B
Cade Spector-3rd Place, Student Congress Chamber A
Aesha Desai-2nd Place, Program of Oral Interpretation
Viraj Shah-4th Place, Varsity LD
Eesha Sachdeva-4th Place, Original Oratory
Elizabeth George-5th Place, Original Oratory
Ben Lipson-5th Place, Extemporaneous Speaking
In addition to the recognition earned at the Dogwood #6 tournament several students were recognized for their season long achievements. Becca Segal was named the Points Race Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking and Viraj Shah was named the Points Race Champion in Lincoln Douglas Debate. This is second time a CA student has earned this title in each of these events. In addition CA had 11 students qualify for the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National tournament to be held in Washington, DC during Memorial Day weekend. These qualifiers were:
Becca Segal-Extemporaneous Speaking
Viraj Shah-Lincoln Douglas Debate
Will Aarons-Lincoln Douglas Debate
Anna Ibrahim-Lincoln Douglas Debate
Caroline Spancake-Original Oratory
Riya Thomas & Isaac Fan- Public Forum Debate
Arm Kassam & Matthew Schaeffer-Public Forum Debate
Cade Spector-Student Congress
In addition Cary Academy was named the Carole Hamilton School of Excellence for the third straight year recognizing the top performing school throughout the entire league season.
21 members of the CA Speech and Debate team traveled to Newport, North Carolina on Saturday February 3rd to participate in the fifth Dogwood league tournament of the year hosted by Croatan High School. In spite of a much smaller squad then usual the team turned in a strong performance finishing 3rd overall in sweepstakes. The team's effort was led by Grace Wissink who was the champion of Dramatic Interpretation, as well as Shannon Jenkins and Emily Zhen who closed out Novice Lincoln Douglas placing first and second respectively. Saajan Patel was the runner up in Student Congress, where RJ Jain also placed 4th. In Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate Anna Ibrahim placed 3rd and Will Aarons 4th, while Viraj Shah, Krishan Guzzo, and Michael Friedman all had winning records but failed to place on points. In Varsity Public Forum the team of Matthew Schaeffer and Arm Kassam finished 3rd. Tommy Hugus reached the final round of Informative Speaking placing 6th, and Nica Kostenko was named the top novice in Oral Interpretation.
The Cary Academy Speech and Debate team is responsible for the content of this blog.