Speech and Debate is state-bound

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Northwood Speech and Debate will be sending more than 20 state qualifiers to the 2018 California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) State Tournament after successful results at the Orange County Speech League State Qualifiers. At the Feb. 23-24 Debate Qualifiers, Northwood filled nine qualifying slots, and at the March 2-3 Speech Qualifiers, Northwood filled 12 qualifying slots.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had this many team members qualify to state,” Debate president senior Christopher Pettit said. “The progress we’ve made over the past year is really showing and I’m proud to be part of this uniquely competitive team.”

In debates, there were qualifying teams in all four of the debate formats. In Public Forum, Pettit and senior Atharva Patil won the tournament, while junior David Choi and senior Amanda Miskell also qualified. In Policy, juniors Daniel Luo and Estelle Lee, sophomores Jadyn Tiong, Anna Lim, Zara Hamid and freshman Eric Gao qualified. In Parliamentary Debate, senior William Choi and juniors Manav Manivannan, Viren Abhyankar and Ethan Hong qualified. Finally, in Lincoln Douglas, there were two qualifying individuals: junior Karthik Krishnan and sophomore Sasha Anand.

For speeches there were qualifying members in almost all categories, who placed within the top three or four places in their event. Manivannan qualified a second time by winning first in International Extemporaneous, and senior Roddur Dasgupta won National Extemporaneous. In the Interpretation events, seniors Neeka Naderi, Deeba Ghasemi, Madhulika Shastry, juniors A.J. Mackey and Tyler Lee, sophomore Jasroop Miglani and freshman Angeline Xu all secured a spot at the state competition. Finally, in Congressional event, senior Armin Abaye and sophomores Sreekar Kasturi and Ishika Sachdeva qualified.

According to Speech president senior Carah Hwang, the tournaments had featured tough competition from over a dozen teams across Orange County such as Fullerton Union and Fairmont Preparatory Academy. To prepare for this, team members had been fine-tuning their cases and speeches both during class and outside of school in the weeks leading up to the tournament. As a result, Hwang also said she was proud of not only the team’s success at the tournament, but also of all the work put in and how the tournament brought everyone together.

“”I am so proud of each and every team member for putting their best foot forward,” Hwang said. “However, I am most proud of the familial aspect of it all. This tournament really brought us back to the core of the team’s strengthour love for one another. I am excited to see how everyone will excel in the coming years and carry our team to new heights.”

Those who qualified will be attending the CHSSA State Tournament at Mountain House High School on April 20-22.