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Forensics qualifies eight entries to Nationals

Junior+Thomas+Wu+and+sophomore+Jimin+Park+qualified+to+Nationals+in+Lincoln+Douglas+Debate+on+April+19.+Park+deferred+his+Lincoln+Douglas+Debate+spot+since+he+has+qualified+with+sophomore+Harun+Khan+in+Policy+Debate.
Junior Thomas Wu and sophomore Jimin Park qualified to Nationals in Lincoln Douglas Debate on April 19. Park deferred his Lincoln Douglas Debate spot since he has qualified with sophomore Harun Khan in Policy Debate.

Junior Thomas Wu and sophomore Jimin Park qualified to Nationals in Lincoln Douglas Debate on April 19. Park deferred his Lincoln Douglas Debate spot since he has qualified with sophomore Harun Khan in Policy Debate.

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Junior Thomas Wu and sophomore Jimin Park qualified to Nationals in Lincoln Douglas Debate on April 19. Park deferred his Lincoln Douglas Debate spot since he has qualified with sophomore Harun Khan in Policy Debate.

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In the fall, seniors Peyton Emler, Ethan Eitutis, Hailey Robertson and Serena Peter and sophomores Jimin Park and Harun Khan qualified to Nationals in Policy Debate.

This semester, senior Olivia Babin (Program of Oral Interpretation), juniors Brenda Alvarez (International Extemporaneous Speaking), Thomas Wu (Lincoln Douglas Debate), Niko Sims (Informative Speaking) and Kathryn Rasmussen (Original Oration) and freshmen Grace Kessler, Raina Peter (Public Forum Debate), Isabelle Crater, Hyerim Nam (Duo Acting) and Petre Dmitriu (Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking) all qualified to the National Speech and Debate Tournament which will be held in Birmingham, Ala. from June 18-23.

Forensics is competitive speech, interpretation, drama and debate that 85 students are involved in at Washburn Rural High School.

“Students essentially speak and/or act,” Park said.

Kessler said she is excited to qualify for Nationals in her first year on the forensics team.

There are a lot of different aspects to this activity that make it appeal to a broad scope of people, and I’m looking forward to the next few years of it”

— Freshman Grace Kessler

“I didn’t have a lot of high expectations for my first year, but I qualified for Nationals in Public Forum Debate and am also the first alternate in Congress for Nationals,” Kessler said. “My favorite part of forensics is knowing that your hard [work] has paid off and that you are gaining a lot of life skills from it. There are a lot of different aspects to this activity that make it appeal to a broad scope of people, and I’m looking forward to the next few years of it.”

Washburn Rural’s forensics team has had many successes this year, finalized by their performance at the National Qualifying tournaments.

This year, Washburn Rural qualified 16 students and 11 separate entries to Nationals, both of which I believe are records for the school”

— Head coach Tim Ellis

“This year, Washburn Rural qualified 16 students and 11 separate entries to Nationals, both of which I believe are records for the school,” head coach Tim Ellis said.

Yet, it is not just short-term success that the students are proud of achieving.

“I think the long-term goal of forensics is to gain valuable speaking and performance skills,” Robertson said.

According to Ellis, forensics is an activity that has more than doubled in participation in the last few years.

“We are an activity that is growing,” Ellis said. “We’ve grown to the 12th biggest [team] in the nation.”

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Forensics qualifies eight entries to Nationals