Pinecrest Speech and Debate Team Takes Honors
The Pinecrest High School Speech and Debate Team has earned membership in the 200 Club of the National Forensic League, governing body for high school speech and debate programs nationwide.
The designation, recently released by the organization, places the Pinecrest team in the top five percent of all debate programs across the nation. The honor is based upon the large-scale accomplishments earned by student members during the past year.
Pinecrest High, which secured the district championship of Tar Heel East for 2006, is the only program in the eastern part of the state to qualify for any type of national recognition. Myers Park High School in Charlotte is the only other debate team within the state to quality for the recognition. The school competes in a district composed of all schools east of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. Pinecrest High coach Libby Carter received Coach of the Year honors for 2006, as well.
In early varsity action this year, the team tied for sixth place sweepstakes at the Wake Forest National Earlybird Tournament in Winston-Salem. The tournament hosted 135 high schools from across the nation in the first tournament of the 2006-2007 season.
Competing for Pinecrest High at the Earlybird, Ashlyn Karan advanced to quarterfinals in JV Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Katlin Christian earned finalist status in Congressional Debate. Of over 70 public forum debate teams, Pinecrest High placed three into octafinals competing into the last group of 16. Winning teams were composed of Caleb Frye and Elysia Tegui-in, Meredith Potter and Jessica Boylan, and Hanna Bustillo and Ben Berk. The team of Cameron Tysinger and Jessica Dejak fell one match short of advancing. The Duo Interpretation team of Andrew Garrison and Brendan Chaney, competing in a field of 78, finished seventeenth overall.
Blue Key Invitational
Members of the Pinecrest High Varsity saw action over the Halloween weekend at the University of Florida Blue Key Invitational.
Pinecrest junior Ashlyn Karan took on all comers in junior varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate at the University of Florida National Blue Key Invitational Debate Tournament and emerged victorious this past weekend. Competing as part of a small varsity squad from the local high school, Karan debated 11 consecutive rounds before claiming the championship trophy over a student from Ohio.
Lincoln-Douglas debate, styled after the 19th century debates of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, is the most formal of high school debates and pits one competitor against another in values debate. The topic used at this tournament was the NFL national topic for October, "Resolved: A just government must provide health care for its citizens."
Karan, in just her first year of Lincoln-Douglas debate, was undefeated during the tournament. Karan's victory put her ahead of 66 other debaters in L-D debate.
Other Pinecrest students competing in the Blue Key also experienced considerable success. The Public Forum debate team of Caleb Frye and Elysia Tegui-in finished seventh out of 120 debate teams from across the nation. The PF team of Meredith Potter and Jessica Boylan finished in the final sixteen teams entered. Public Forum debate is modeled after the popular television show, "Crossfire," and for October researched the topic, "Resolved: Current immigration laws within the United States should be enforced."
Two additional Pinecrest students, Ben Berk and Katlin Christian, competed in Congressional Debate, styled after the U.S. Congress in Washington. Both students advanced in the competition to the Semi-Super Congress level, with Berk scoring high enough to place in Super Congress. By doing so, Berk receives the first half of a bid to the Tournament of Champions to be held in Kentucky in May. Christian had already received a bid through competition at the Wake Forest National Earlybird Tournament in September.
Senior Jessica Dejak also competed in Humorous Interpretation but did not place in the competition. It was her first time competing in this category at a national tournament.
The Pinecrest students were accompanied by parents Dr. Steve Karan and Jill Dejak, who served as tournament judges. A small contingent of Pinecrest varsity will compete in the Princeton University National Invitational in New Jersey in December.
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