Speech and Debate competes at the Colorado Grande National Qualifying tournament

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Speech and Debate competes at the Colorado Grande National Qualifying tournament

 The students who qualified for nationals pose with their official plaques.

 “We’re all really proud of the people who qualified,” Anita Gichuki 9 said.

The students who qualified for nationals pose with their official plaques. “We’re all really proud of the people who qualified,” Anita Gichuki 9 said.

Scott Reif

The students who qualified for nationals pose with their official plaques. “We’re all really proud of the people who qualified,” Anita Gichuki 9 said.

Scott Reif

Scott Reif

The students who qualified for nationals pose with their official plaques. “We’re all really proud of the people who qualified,” Anita Gichuki 9 said.

Anna Icke, Ranger Review Reporter

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Speech and Debate is arriving at the end of their season, and on March 1st and 2nd they faced possibly the most difficult tournament of the year: the qualifying tournament for nationals in Dallas, Texas.

The team departed on Friday morning then stayed overnight, returning late on Saturday. With them, they brought back some very excited speech and debaters who would be headed to Texas, and some upset students who had thought that nationals were within their reach.

“I’m disappointed in myself,” Anita Gichuki 9 said. “I know that I could have done better; I don’t know how I was eliminated in the first two rounds.”

The way that the tournament is set up, there are two preliminary rounds in which participants can be eliminated. After that, there is a second set of rounds in which the top two placements from each category qualify for nationals.

This year, the Speech and Debate Team had 10 participants qualify to nationals: Scott Reif 11 and Emily DeSutter 11  in Duo Interpretation, Rally Thiessen 10 and Lillian Hyatt 10 also in Duo Interpretation, Kaitlyn Strugalski 12 in Dramatic Interpretation, Jack Snouwaert 11 in Humorous Interpretation, Kathryn Bullecks 9 also in Humorous Interpretation, Amy Cinnamon 11 in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, AnneMarie Ackerman 12 in World Schools Debate, and Taylor Brainard 12 in Congress.

Any competitors who placed third became alternates for nationals. This year the team has 6: Jack Snouwaert 11 and Abigail Schmitz 11 in Duo Interpretation, Taylor Bird 11 in Humorous Interpretation, Kaitlyn Strugalski 12 in Original Oratory, Emily DeSutter 11 also in Original Oratory, and Scott Reif 11 in Dramatic Interpretation.

“Those of us who didn’t qualify are upset,” Gichuki said, “but we’re really proud of those who did. It will be exciting to see a bunch of our teammates competing in Dallas.”

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