Speech & Debate Team finishes second in state
The Upper St. Clair High School Speech and Debate Team tied its best-ever showing with a second place finish at the Pennsylvania High School Speech League State Tournament April 8-9, 2016, at Susquehanna University. This marks the school’s sixth straight year reaching the top three and the eighth straight year finishing among the top five.
To qualify for the state-level competition, the Upper St. Clair team won its sixth consecutive District 3 Championship – claiming more than half of the available qualifying spots with 24 students advancing to the state tournament.
In final rounds, the Parliamentary Debate team of senior Chase Miller, junior Raahema Durrani and sophomore Spencer Miller went undefeated, 12-0, on ballots to win the state championship. This marked Chase's second state championship and third total career final. Junior Rod Smith finished second in Commentary.
The Upper St. Clair team had two third place finishes including senior Justin Brandwein in Extemporaneous Speaking, and the team of senior Hunter Lantzman and juniors Macey Kaplan and Arushi Kewalramani in Parliamentary Debate. This marked the second third place finish for all three Parliamentary Debate team members.
In addition, senior Erin Graham earned fourth place in Humorous Interpretation and junior Vicki Wang placed sixth in Informative. This was the second time both students competed in the state-level competition.
Advancing to semifinals were senior Jacob Heilman and Sophomore Ariana Chiu in Student Congress; senior Saraj Quinto in Dramatic Interpretation; and junior Erik Warmbein in Prose.
Those qualifying, but not advancing to semifinals, included seniors Aarya Wadke in Poetry and Thomas Mologne in Radio Announcing; juniors Hannah Sanner in Prose; Yash Lahoti in Public Forum Debate; Caleb Troughtzmantz and Amna Amin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Kristen Buckholt in Impromptu; and Neale Misquitta in Commentary; as well as sophomores Jacob Lantzman in Public Forum Debate and Ethan Bowman in Senate.
Upper St. Clair High School students are coached by Ben Edwards, social studies teacher, and Dave Watson, English teacher.
“Thanks to all who have supported Upper St. Clair Speech and Debate competitors,” Mr. Edwards said. “We wish them luck as 31 students also qualified for two national tournaments in Sacramento and Salt Lake City later this year!”