By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Experience gained at nationals


Courtesy photo

Members of the Green River High School Speech and Debate team take a break from competition to pose for a photo.

Members of the Green River High School Speech and Debate team may not have advanced as far as they would have liked at nationals, buy they gained valuable experience.

Twelve students attended the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament, June 19-23, which took place in Birmingham, Ala., this year.

"They learned what it takes to compete at a national level. They learned new speech and debate trends from competitors from other states," Jason Grubb, assistant speech and debate coach, said. "They learned that at the national tournament it is about team Wyoming as they helped competitors from other high schools in Wyoming find success."

Each student of the students competed in a main event, including Allison Kloepper in Congressional debate, Jesse Lauze and Rebecca Shamer in policy debate, Patrick and Gregory Marchal in policy debate, Rachel Heisinger in Lincoln Douglas debate, Savrina Karimi in Lincoln Douglas debate, Reina Kropf and Leslie Patterson in duet interpretation, Dallin Hoyt and humorous interpretation, Abigaile Grubb in informative speaking, Victoria Allen and oratory.

"In the main events, the students each compete in six preliminary rounds," Grubb said. "The top 60 competitors move on to the next stage of competition. Our duet team, Reina and Leslie, came the closest to making it on to the next level of competition."

When the students were eliminated from the main events they were competing in they competed in supplemental events, including Kloepper in impromptu speaking,

Lauze, Shamer, Patrick Marchal, Gregory Marchal, Heisinger, Hoyt and Karimi in extemporaneous debate, Kropf in storytelling, Patterson in poetry and Grubb and Allen in expository speaking.

"The students were incredibly competitive. Many picked up first and second place votes in individual rounds, but overall none were able to get past the preliminary rounds into the elimination rounds," Grubb said. "This is the highest level of competition. Only the top 60 competitors in each event move past the preliminary rounds."

Most of the events had more than 200 competitors. Some of the students did better in the supplemental events finishing in the top 100 out of fields of 450 and 850 competitors.

"In the supplemental events, it is double elimination. After being ranked the lowest twice, you are eliminated from the competition," he said. "Savrina, Gregory and Abigaile all went several rounds in their supplemental events before being eliminated."

It's a young team and most of them will be returning to the team next year, Grubb said.

"This experience keeps their skills sharp. It also taught them new techniques that they will be able to use during next year's season," Grubb said. "This experience also serves as a goal to work towards as all of these students would love the opportunity to compete at this level again."

The students also learned how to accept defeat graciously.

"All knew they had given it their all in competition," Grubb said. "Of course they wanted to do better, but they were satisfied with how they performed."

"As a coaching staff, we are extremely pleased with how the students did. They represented their team, school, city and state well," he said. "We received several comments of how well they worked together as they prepared to compete in extemporaneous debate. The students learned a lot and made good use of their time and experience at nationals."


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