The University Interscholastic League (UIL) District of the National Speech and Debate Association held its tournament last weekend to select the students who will represent UIL at the National Speech and Debate Tournament this summer. Five students from North Lamar’s Speech and Debate Team will be among those from across the United States to represent their schools and hometowns.
North Lamar’s Jared Chenevey placed 1st in both Congress and International Extemporaneous Speaking on topics about international events. Chenevey chose to compete in Extemporaneous Speaking at nationals since competitors can only compete in one event at nationals. Kay Edwards placed 3rd in International Extemporaneous Speaking, Seth Gurley placed 2nd in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking on topics about events in the US, Mackenzie Beckmonplaced 1st in Humorous Interpretation, and Steele Musgrove placed 3rd in World Schools Debate.
“The tournament lasts three days, with students in rounds continuously from 8 AM until 10 PM each day,” said North Lamar Speech and Debate Coach Kristi Hodgkiss. “It is truly a marathon for those who make it all the way to the end. Competition is intense, as the NSDA does not make any distinction between sizes of schools. North Lamar is one of the smaller schools participating in the tournament.”
North Lamar team members who are first alternates to nationals are the team of Edwards and Gurley who placed 3rd in Cross Examination Debate,Beckmon who placed 4th in Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Jordan Walters who placed 4th in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Colin Hodgkiss and Steele Musgrove placed 6th in Cross Examination Debate and are 3rd alternates.
Elaborating on the success of North Lamar’s team Hodgkiss said, “NL won Speech Sweepstakes with almost double the points of the next closest team. We missed overall sweeps based on a tie-breaker, winding up second to a 5A school with almost three times the number of entries at the tournament. It was our most successful run ever at this particular tournament.”