Speech and debate: Novice tournament yields promising results

October 30, 2009 — by Saniha Shankar and Abhishek Venkataramana

After a month of practicing, the speech and debate team officially started the season by competing at the first league tournaments of the year. The team competed at the Novice Individual Events Tournament hosted at Los Gatos on Oct. 24 and the Fall Student-Congress tournament hosted at San Lorenzo High School on Oct. 27.

At the San Lorenzo Student-Congress Tournament, co-captain Keerti Shukla placed second place.

The Novice Individual Events on Oct. 24 tournament gave novices a chance to get a feel for the competition that they will be facing during the rest of the season. Freshman Ishaan Kolluri placed sixth in Domestic Extemporaneous Speech. Freshmen Neil Prasad and Shahab Moghadem placed first and sixth, respectively, in Foreign Extemporaneous Speech. Freshmen Kion Anderson, Rohan Cotah, Brian Kim, Venkat Kuttila, Parth Shah and Sanjna Verma all advanced to semi-finals in Extemporaneous Speech. Sophomore David Eng advanced to semi-finals in Expository.

“All the [novices’] hard work, researching articles and practicing and giving speeches finally paid off in this tournament,” said Extemporaneous Speech captain junior Vance Lindholm. “I am extremely proud of how they did, especially since it was the first tournament of the year. I definitely believe that [our team] can actually compete with good teams in our league and maybe even win our league this year.”

The team competed at the Fall Individual Events tournament at Leland on Nov. 1 but due to printing deadlines, the results could not be printed. The team will be competing at next at the League Fall Debate tournament hosted at Milpitas High on Nov. 15.

“In terms of the novice, I am very happy with the results,” said head coach Erick Rector. “What was very impressive as a team was that many of the novices broke to semi-finals in their very first extemporaneous speech tournaments.”

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