Public Speaking and Debate Take Home Solid Victory At State Championship


Miramonte Public Speakers show off their trophies at the awards ceremony.

Arianna Tong, Staff Writer

April 19-21 Miramonte Public Speaking and Debate attended the 2013 state championships in Santa Clarita, California. This year 34 students qualified for the championships in different events. Two Matadors came home as state champions, eleven came home as finalists, fifteen were semi-finalists, and three were octafinalists.

In Congressional Debate, Senior Charles Correll III took first place, and Senior Jimmy Mcfeely was awarded best Presiding Officer. “It feels exceptional to win the whole thing. Such an accomplishment is a testament to how far hard work and determination can take a man,” Correll said. Both Mcfeely and Correll were awarded with 500 dollar scholarships.

“I’m most overjoyed for Mrs. Plant though, who has been fighting for years to have a state champion. It’s an honor to be her first in congressional debate,” said Correll. This summer Correll will be attending Nationals in Birmingham, Alabama.

The awards in congress didn’t stop there. Junior Ethan Miles took second place, junior Connor Meckfessel took fourth, senior Erik Mcdonald placed fifth, and senior George Kaiser took seventh.

“I learned after the semifinal round that I was winning the tournament through prelims and that was definitely a confidence boost. That knowledge let me breathe easy and just go in and have fun,” Miles said. Meckfessel will be joining Correll in congress at Nationals, along with Miles who will be competing in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Senior Nick Olivier placed second in expository speaking. “Placing second at the State Championships in Expository affirmed for me that hard work and undying motivation for excellence truly do pay off,” said Olivier.

To top off a solid victory, senior Brian De luna placed fifth in Original Oratory, and junior Jonah Lowenstien placed sixth in Humorous Interpretation. In Thematic Interpretation senior Gina Nerone placed seventh, while junior Daniel Galarza took home fourth place.

To qualify for state, students must compete in a debate and individual event qualifier. The top seven speakers advance to the state championships in Individual Events, while the top 12 advance to state in Congress.

According to a Miramonte Public Speaking Twitter update, “2013 has been MHS Public Speaking’s most successful State Tournament in the last 5 years,” tweeted Debate Coach Kristin Plant.

The victory for most public speakers is bittersweet. “I could have not asked for a better way to end my four year career as a Miramonte Public Speaker, not only due to success but also because of the support, dedication, and victories of the Pub family that I am so proud to be a part of,” Olivier said.