Wa-Hi debate team earns state berth

Fourteen students qualified for state competition.

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WALLA WALLA -- Several students in the Walla Walla High School debate team will travel to Tacoma next month to compete in state championships.

Fourteen students qualified for state competition following a qualifying tournament in Leavenworth over the weekend.

The following students will head to the University of Puget Sound on March 12 to compete in the state's individual events tournament: Bryan Preston, Machado Mijiga, Rosa Tobin, Carrie Moore, Calvin Brigham, Kendall Dunovant, Konor Clark, Julia Cosma, Kera Parsons, Hope Grant-Herriot, Kimberly McLaughlin, Marisol Beck, Sean Hamilton and Reyn Hodgson, a student at Lincoln Alternative High School.

"The state qualifying tournament was a challenging experience and we are proud to have qualified as many students as we did," coach Jean Tobin said in an e-mail.

Students will compete in several individual events, including impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, original oratory, expository, dramatic interpretation and interpretive reading.

Others will return to the University of Puget Sound on March 18-19 for the state debate tournament. Brigham and Moore will compete in Lincoln-Douglas debate while Beck, McLaughlin and Grant-Herriot will compete in congressional debate.

The next few weeks offer a respite for the students, who have competed in six tournaments in seven weeks. The break also offers a chance to prepare for the state competitions.

Students spent most weekends this month competing, starting with a Walla Walla tournament hosted at Lincoln on Feb. 5. That event was followed with veteran team members competing at the Thomas Foley Invitation Debate Tournament at University High School in Spokane Valley on Feb. 11-12. The team wrapped up the regular season with the Leavenworth competition, where Wa-Hi competed against teams from Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Eisenhower, Cascade (Leavenworth), Ephrata, Othello, Chiawana and Pasco.

The Wa-Hi team took second place in both debate and speech events in Leavenworth.

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