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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Speech and debate showing growth

Eighty-eight schools competed in the Martin Luther King speech and debate tournament at James Logan High from Jan. 17-19. Considering the size of the tournament the team’s results showed considerable growth among the participants. 
       In extemporaneous speaking, juniors Michael Ong and Jimmy Xiao advanced to elimination rounds, but both lost in quarterfinals. Ong and junior Sudeep Raj advanced to elimination rounds in Parliamentary debate, but lost in double octafinals. 
      It was the first time that Ong broke (advanced to elimination rounds) in debate, and the fact that it was a large tournament further added to his excitement. 
      In Lincoln-Douglas debate, junior Rohith Krishna and sophomore Shrey Desai advanced to elimination rounds. 
       “I was excited about making it to the elimination rounds,  especially after countless hours of research, preparation and dedication toward debate,” Desai said. 
        Krishna won double octafinals and quarterfinals but ultimately lost in semifinals.
       “I feel like the fact that I wasn't ecstatic or overjoyed ultimately helped me keep my composure when debating the top seed and in the further elim rounds,” Krishna said.  
       Overall, the tournament had a fairly successful outcome, and members showed a fair amount of growth regarding performance.
“It shows great progress that our first ever parliamentary debate team cleared [preliminary rounds] and that a sophomore advanced in Lincoln-Douglas,” Krishna said. “[Sophomore] Shrey Desai has become one of the best debaters in our league.” 
Several state and national-level tournaments are coming up, such as the Stanford Invitational on Feb. 7-10.
“The results bode well for the rest of the semester, especially since the January-February Lincoln-Douglas topic is used in States, Nationals and the Tournament of Champions,” Krishna said.
       In the second Coast Forensic League Speech tournament on Jan. 26, few participants made it past the preliminary rounds. Freshman Mitali Shanbhag and sophomore Ashvita Ramesh advanced to semifinals in Original Oratory (OO), and senior Mohith Subbarao went on to finals and placed sixth in OO.
Junior Anjali Manghani, captain of OO, feels that that the team's performance is foreshadowing great success in future tournaments.
"To get three people to break, especially in our league, is a
major achievement and we’re working our way up through the season,” Manghani said. “We’ve got some really really big tournaments coming up … and judging by our performance now I think we’re going to do really well there.” 
Manghani said that at this point in the season, all the teams are looking more polished and practiced. 
“Now that people have had time to rehearse and edit their speeches the competition is a lot tougher,” 
Manghani said, “and to see that we had three people break already in such an environment is amazing.”
Subbarao, the only finalist from SHS, was ecstatic about breaking. Only one thing could’ve made it better:  “I would’ve been very happy if more people from SHS broke,” said Subbarao.
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