March 19, 2021
Speech & Debate earn 2nd place at state tourney
The Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team placed second overall at the recent Pennsylvania High School Speech League (PHSSL) State Tournament. The team won Speech Sweepstakes and was third in Debate.
The team was led by several strong individual performances including senior Maddie Nolen, who placed first in Humorous Interpretation. In addition to Maddie, eight individuals/teams were named state finalists including:
- Commentary: Antara Cleetus, third place
- Duo Interpretation: Bryce Keating and Joe Phillips, third place
- Parliamentary Debate: Rushikesh Kulkarni & Dev Patel, Final Four
- Extemporaneous Speaking: Sophia Shi fourth place; Atharva Barve, fifth place; Jack Miller, sixth place
- Prose Reading: Richa Mahajan, fourth place
- Informative Speaking: Aarav Patil, fifth place
- Dramatic Interpretation: Marlena Bononi, sixth place
- News Broadcasting: Matthew Hrehocik and Cameron Weber, third place
Several students posted strong performances, advancing to the elimination rounds at the state tournament. Those students include Kathy Li (Poetry); Saif bin Hammad (Commentary); Henry Rainone (Humorous Interpretation); Reshma Gudla (Persuasive Speaking); Ashley Eichberg & Shreya Golakiya (Policy Debate, Top 8); Jasmine Dietiker & Ipsita Singh (Parliamentary Debate, Top 8); Zoe Sobel-Drum (Supersession Senate); and Patrick Joyce (Supersession House).
The following students qualified to compete at the PHSSL State Tournament but did not advance: Will Bacdayan & Ammar Kethavath (Public Forum Debate); Scott Cheung & Nitish Sharma (Public Forum Debate); Qadir Khan & Daniel Wang (Public Forum Debate); Raniya Kethavath & Maanasa Reddy (Parliamentary Debate); Saif Durrani (Lincoln-Douglas Debate); Anjali VIshwakarma (Lincoln-Douglas Debate); Shiven Verma & Shubham Patel (Policy Debate); Maya Qahramonova & Chelsea Liu (Duo Interpretation), Jenny Wang (Informative Speaking), Nivedha Suresh (Persuasive Speaking), Luke McDonough (Persuasive Speaking), Priyasha Itani (Persuasive Speaking), Priyanka Palayekar (Extemporaneous Debate); Nicky Misquitta (Impromptu Speaking); Ansh Goyal (Senate); and Ujal Gautam (Senate).
In order to advance to the PHSSL State Tournament, the Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team won the District Three Championship for the 10th consecutive time. The team is coached by high school teachers Ben Edwards and Dave Watson.
Founded in 1961, the Pennsylvania High School Speech League’s purpose is to stimulate through educational competition an understanding and appreciation of all areas of speech.