Debate State

Speech & Debate Vies in 3 State Championships, Qualifies for Nationals
Posted on 03/21/2024
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Carson High School Speech and Debate had a busy March, competing in three separate State Championships and districts, including the Sagebrush District Tournament, a national qualifier, where Reno High School hosted 16 teams, competing to earn entries to the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament this June. Carson High’s team effort paid off, advancing finalists in seven separate events and earning an unprecedented 10 spots for students at nationals.

Competitors were required to place first or second in their events in order to claim a spot. Chelsea Empeno and Kaden Sa dominated Duo Interpretation. Viviana Castro qualified in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Partners Kyle Allen and McKenzie Merrell earned a place in Public Forum Debate and Summer McGill and Nasia Perkins claimed a spot in Policy Debate. Emily Tran will be a member of the Sagebrush District World Schools team.

In addition to the individual awards, the team also won the Debate Sweepstakes Award for earning the most points in debate events and the Overall Tournament Award for finishing first overall in the district tournament.

Prior to last weekend’s national qualifying tournament at Reno High, the team competed in the speech portion of the State Stampede Debate Championship at Damonte Ranch, which hosted 28 schools and 207 competitors. Speech rounds were completed before the tournament was postponed due to poor weather.

Several Carson High competitors had top 10 finishes. Carson High duo pairs Ellie Dement and Thomas Lance along with partners Kayden Kemp and Zion Brown finished ninth and tenth-place respectively. Kyle Allen placed eighth in foreign extemporaneous speaking. Nasia Perkins ended tied for sixth in informative speaker. Dement also finished in sixth-place for humorous interpretation.

Summer McGill and Emily Tran both advanced in Program Oral Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation. McGill finished fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and second in Program Oral Interpretation. Tran finished fourth in Program Oral Interpretation and second in Dramatic Interpretation. The debate portion of the tournament was rescheduled to be held online in mid-April.

Team Captain Viviana Castro competed at the State Championship of the American Legion Oratorical Contest and finished second, highlighting the mental health crisis amongst veterans. Meanwhile, Naisa Perkins recited at the Poetry Out Loud State Championship and claimed third-place overall.