Speech and Debate progresses through State Qualifiers


On Saturday, March 5, the Heritage Speech and Debate team competed in State Qualifiers, and it ultimately proved to be one of the more formative competitions in Heritage Speech and Debate history.

“It was an awesome experience and it was one of our most successful tournaments that Heritage has had,” says Tori Mudd ’16.

First off, Speech and Debate is not limited to solely those two categories, but rather it encompasses six speech-oriented events (Original Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation and Extemporaneous Speaking) and four debate-oriented events (Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, CX Debate and Congress).

The Speech and Debate team participates in the state qualifying competition. With five members qualified and five others qualifying as alternates, the tournament showcased the growth of the team throughout the season. Photo courtesy of Andrea Culhane.

In each speech event, the participants delivered their speeches and scripts to a room of five to six people and a judge over the course of three rounds, while each debate event consisted of four rounds.

“State Quals. to me is the most important time of the year to see how far our team has come. It’s the only time we really get to see everyone’s progress and how much they’ve improved over the year,” says Mudd.

The state qualifying tournament is a crucial preemptive step towards being a part of the State Competition, and potentially the National Qualifiers tournament, which will be held at Heritage. As much as State Qualifiers is an achievement for Speech and Debate members, it also serves as a benchmark to measure the growth and development of each over the past season.

“It is great to see how far everyone has come throughout the season and the progression of everyone’s piece. There is a lot of talent there and it’s awesome to see that in peers and competitors,” says Marleigh Sizemore ’16.

For seniors in Speech and Debate, State Quals. represented the pinnacle of their careers, if not a jumpstart into their futures. Sizemore’s tenure in Speech ended after this competition; whereas Mudd will continue to compete in Speech at the State Competition and beyond in college.

Five members of the team qualified for State and five placed as alternates. Qualifiers include Tori Mudd for Original Oratory, Adam Downing ’17 and Connor Mudd ’17 for Public Forum Debate and Reid Wilking ’16 and Andrew Dallakoti ’16 for Public Forum Debate. Alternates include Tori Mudd and Gwen Basset ’16 for Alternate Duo Interpretation, Emma Kasahara ’17 for Extemporaneous Speaking and Katie Hart ’18 and Cameron Berry ’18 or Duo Interpretation.

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