In just the second year of STMA’s new Debate program, two STMA students qualified for national competition in Dallas, Texas.
On December 12 and 13, STMA’s Debate Team, consisting of Briana Goodchild, Meghan Flouip, Anastacia Pohl, and Alyson Astleford, traveled to Walker, Minnesota to participate in the Northern Lights Sectional Student Congress National Qualifier tournament at Walker High School.
Overall, the team finished second out of ten schools. In addition, Goodchild and Astleford each received a “Superior” ranking for two days of competition (the highest distinction available) and earned two of the three available regional entries to the National Forensic League Student Congress national competition to be held in June, 2015.
“It was a pretty fantastic weekend for our team,” first-year coach Douglas Birk said of his STMA team. “The competition at a national qualifier event is always elevated and for our team to finish second and advance two individuals to nationals reflects on the high level of preparation and commitment our students have exhibited at these competitions throughout the year. It’s quite an honor.”
In other news, STMA’s debate squad also enjoyed success at Minnesota’s Novice/ Junior Varsity Debate State Championships held on December 5-6 at Eagan High School. The public forum team of Briana Goodchild and Anastacia Pohl advanced to quarter-finals out of 52 overall teams from over 25 different high schools. In addition, both Alyson Astleford and Jack Felt advanced to Super Congress Finals in Student Congress competition. Pohl and Astelford each received top individual speaker recognition in their respective events finishing seventh while Goodchild finished as the second overall speaker in Public Forum.
“The Eagan tournament was our most important tournament of the year for the team,” Birk said. “We went up against some very established and successful debate programs in other parts of the state. Each of our students worked hard and competed fairly well against some great competitors.”
The team’s 2014-2015 debate season will be winding down over the next few weeks. On December 20, STMA will compete at the St. Francis Sectional Preparation Tournament at the University of Minnesota. On January 10 and 17, STMA will compete at sectionals and State.