Twenty competitors from Free State and Lawrence high schools are heading to Kentucky in June for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.
Students from Lawrence’s public high schools wrapped up East Kansas district qualifiers over the weekend, hosted by Shawnee Mission East. The two days of competition included interpretation events, Lincoln-Douglas debates, and public forum addresses. Competitions for congressional and policy debates were conducted in December and March.
Both teams wrapped up successful seasons with multiple first-time accolades and achievements.
Lawrence High School took second place in the Overall Sweepstakes for the season, and also second place in Debate Sweepstakes.
Team president Ezra Joseph earned the distinction of being the first Free State High School student ever to be named East Kansas Student of the Year by the National Speech & Debate Association. Free State Coach Michael Shelton also was recognized by the association as East Kansas Assistant Coach of the Year.
More than 6,000 students from 1,500 schools qualify for the national event annually. This year, students will gather June 12-17 at venues throughout Louisville to compete in any of 24 individual and team speaking events. Finals are scheduled June 16-17 at the Kentucky Expo Center.
More information about the 2022 National Speech & Debate Tournament can be found at this link.
FSHS national qualifiers:
- Kady Bischmann, Domestic Extemporaneous
- Emma Hefty, Original Oratory
- Cici Hunter, Humorous Interpretation/ Program of Oral Interpretation
- Ezra Joseph, International Extemporaneous
- Lily Otter, Dramatic Interpretation
- Sophie Racy, World Schools Debate
- Molly Roecker, Program of Oral Interpretation
- Emma Stammeyer, Congressional Debate
- Anwen Williams, Informative Speaking
- Aaron Persinger/Simon Williams, Policy Debate
LHS national qualifiers:
- Thomas Lushington, Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- J. Riggins, Congressional Debate
- Caitlin Sand, Congressional Debate
- Jake Shew, Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- Jack Stutler, Informative Speaking
- Helen Viloria, Congressional Debate
- Clara Bode/Dominic Moore, Duo Interpretation
FSHS top 6 finishers:
- Emma Hefty, Informative Speaking
- Wendo Kimori, Informative Speaking
- Anwen Williams, International Extemporaneous
LHS top 6 finishers:
- Trent Blettner, International Extemporaneous
- Frances Parker, Original Oratory
- Rose Allgeier/Adelaide Sivits, Duo Interpretation
- Brandon Symons/Anne Wolverton, Public Forum Debate
FSHS Degree of Premier Distinction:
- Abbey Hossler
- Ezra Joseph
- John Marshall
- Serena Rupp
FSHS Academic All-Americans:
- Emma Hefty
- Aaron Persinger
- Emma Stammeyer
LHS Academic All-Americans:
- Clara Bode
- Cuyler Dunn
- Bryce Erickson
- Kayleigh Gill
- Thomas Lushington
- Eliot Manning
- Caitlin Sand
- Bradley Schrock
- Jack Stutler
- Aidan Zimney
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More coverage: Speech, debate and forensics
In a weekend featuring more than a dozen high school debaters from Lawrence, Free State took home second place in the 4-speaker division and sent a team to the semifinals in the 2-speaker division of the state tournament. Meanwhile, two Lawrence High seniors have earned the school’s first bid to the national Tournament of Champions.