WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla High School's inaugural debate team prepares for its final competitions this weekend with recent strong victories.
The team's third and last tournament in the regular season brought high praise and positive feedback for several team members, said coach Jean Tobin.
The team traveled to Tacoma Jan. 29-30 to compete in the T.O.H. Karl Forensics Invitational Tournament at Pacific Lutheran University. Tobin said the tournament was one of the biggest in the state this year, with close to 50 high schools participating.
Wa-Hi students with top honors included:
- Hope Grant-Herriot, whose interpretive reading during individual events took her into the finals round. Grant-Herriot earned a first place trophy for novice competitor in her event.
- Maddie Bronstein, and Nic Clifton, 11th grade, who each moved to the finals round in the novice impromptu category. Their final speeches were based on political comics.
- In novice Lincoln-Douglas debates, Bronstein earned first-place speaker; Clement Cantil placed third overall in the event; Calvin Brigham earned a sixth-place speaker award; and Machado Mijiga and Rosa Tobin each earned four wins and two losses as they debated economic sanctions during the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
- Bryan Preston and Clifton received awards as top 10 speakers in novice public forum, where they debated a troop surge to Afghanistan.
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Marisol Beck, Carrie Moore, Julia Cosma, and Kera Parsons competed throughout the tournament and all received positive comments and high marks from judges on their ballots, Tobin said.
Area residents Fred Moore and Annie Capestany also attended the recent tournament as judges. But Tobin said there are many more people who have lent support to the team and helped make it's first year such a success.
"Overall, despite having started a new program and having to cancel two tournaments due to weather, Walla Walla High School students have been ranked top competitors and won awards at every tournament they have attended," Tobin wrote in a statement.
"We are very grateful for the support of community members, parents and the Walla Walla School District whose contributions made attending this tournament possible."
The Wa-Hi debate club competes again Feb. 12 and 13 in Pasco for a state-qualifying tournament.