• May 29, 2024

    Speech & Debate finishes 6th in the nation

    Speech & Debate TeamThe Upper St. Clair High School Speech & Debate Team finished sixth in the nation at the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament, held May 25-26, 2024, in Chicago.

    The USCHS team is coached by high school teachers Ben Edwards and Dave Watson with assistance from Erin Wolf, Oscar Heller and Saif Durrani.

    “We finished sixth overall, our second-highest finish at this tournament,” Mr. Edwards said. “Ten students advanced to the second day of competition, the most in team history. Thirty-one USC students qualified through the qualifying tournament in March and were among the largest squads at the tournament.”

    The national tournament included 2,227 student competitors, representing 427 schools nationwide.

    Senior Aarav Patil placed ninth in Original Oratory and made the national semifinal round, which marked the second-highest placement by an Upper St. Clair speech competitor in team history. Senior Priyasha Itani earned 20th place in Original Oratory, earning a spot in the quarterfinal round.

    Seniors Ashe Sobel Drum (13th) and Ujal Gautam (19th) earned final-round spots in the Congressional Debate. Ujal made the final round for the second consecutive year. Junior Ishaan Sharma placed 47th in Extemporaneous Speaking.

    The sophomores showed that the team has a bright future: Arth Italiya placed 20th in Declamation; Pritika Gupta was 23rd in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Anoushka Barve took 29th in Original Oratory; Vincent Watson, who made the second day in Declamation for the second time, placed 44th; and Prachi Chetlur finished 48th in Extemporaneous Speaking.

    Also representing Upper St. Clair were:

    • Theeya Chen & Lucia Miles - Policy Debate
    • Shubham Patel & Shiven Verma - Policy Debate
    • Izzy Lin & Zahra Khan - Policy Debate
    • Harsh Mali & Krishna Sathya Vagheeswar - Public Forum Debate
    • Josh Anand & Saajin Laffin - Public Forum Debate
    • Mana Barimani & Aadhi Bharath - Public Forum Debate
    • Aaryan Kumar & Komel Nulwala - Public Forum Debate
    • Noshi Dabas - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
    • Manav Patel - Congressional Debate
    • Max Gresh – Extemporaneous Speaking
    • Ali Hanna - Dramatic Performance
    • Hansika Yanamadala. - Dramatic Performance
    • Isabel Vilensky & Opal Miller - Duo Interpretation

    Founded in 1951, the NCFL creates speech and debate opportunities for all secondary school students. Every year the NCFL sponsors the annual Grand National Tournament on Memorial Day weekend, offering six forensics events and four debate events.