Ladies and Gentlemen, we have (most) of our national qualifiers!
Over the last two months, students from across Washington have researched, done speech re-dos, and prepared for the national qualifiers to represent the D.C. area at nationals.
For High School: Urban Debate National Championship: Dallas, Texas, April 2nd - 5th
For Middle School: Urban Debate Middle School Nationals: Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 1st - 3rd
We have (most) of our qualifiers:
Justin Sayoto and Ernest Ntangu
Paola Almendarez and Lola Rogin
Justin is in his second year of debate, jumping from Novice to Varsity this summer. He's worked incredibly hard to catch up to the rest of the regional circuit competitors. Ernest has debated all four years, and qualified to the UDNC as both a sophomore and a junior.
Paola has debated for five years, since she was in 6th grade. She was at the second tournament the WUDL ever hosted. Lola has debated for four years, and together, Paola and Lola were the youngest qualifiers to the UDNC last year.
As with last year, Kevin Tezi and Munyang Tengen were the runners up and first alternates. Congrats to Dennis Martinez/Alexa Figoura and Zara Escobar/Lucy Chamberlain for being our other alternates.
In Middle School:
We chose 4/6 qualifiers through direct competition. Two others will be chosen via application at the end of the week.
Samantha Perkins (not pictured) and David Sipos
Tremayne Bivens and Stephanie Macieko
Samara Cuaresma and Safya Biswal
Jener Balk and Joey Villaflor
Congrats to the many other finalists:
Stanley Azoroh and Cordell Eddings
Naimh O'Donovan and Brooke Roberson
Machalle Von Klein and Allan Opera
Kayla Adames and Paris Dozier
Madison McCauley and Gabby Sousa
Samantha, David, Tremayne, Stephanie, Joey, and Jener have all debated for three years and have competed in regional competitions, while Samara and Safya started debating last spring, and just made the jump from Novice in January.
Beyond the qualifiers, this was an exciting tournament, with two programs making their competitive debuts. New Carrollton Independent, led by student/coach Paris Smalley, dominated the Novice Division, announcing in a big way that they were back after a semester hiatus. College Park Academy also made some noise in their first tournament ever, taking home some hardware.