Pinecrest Debate Team Takes Third Place
The Pinecrest Speech and Debate Team concluded its competitive season in North Carolina with the Tarheel Forensic League State Championships at Enka High School. From the intense two-day competition, three Pinecrest competitors emerged as individual state champions. Jenny Questell, a senior, claimed the state title in humorous interpretation; Olivia Hernandez, a sophomore, took the title in novice congressional debate; and Ben Denton, a junior, claimed the crown in impromptu speaking.
The Pinecrest team placed third overall in the competition, following repeating champion Myers Park High School, of Charlotte, in first place and Marvin Ridge High School, of Charlotte, in second.
Other members of the Pinecrest team also fared well in the competition Sophomore Doug Harrison placed third in dramatic interpretation and seventh in oral interpretation. Denton also finished fourth in extemporaneous speaking, followed by Pinecrest sophomore Auden Laurence, who took fifth place. The team of Kyle Ocheltree and Hunter Ocheltree, 2009 state champions in duo interpretation, fell short this year and finished fifth overall in the competition.
Varsity congressional debater Joey Rasmus finished third in open congressional debate, while newcomer Nate Peterkin, a junior, was a finalist in novice congressional debate, the event won by Hernandez.
The debate side of the team exited the tournament early; however, with no one passing the quarterfinal mark in the competition, all hope for Pinecrest to claim a state team title was eliminated.
The public forum teams of Jake Elliott and Jairo Vera, Emily Gower and Kyle Newman, and Yul Yurcaba and Stephen Harbeck reached quarterfinalist status. Josephine Yurcaba, in varsity Lincoln-Douglas, and Zac Hoffman, in novice Lincoln-Douglas, both attained quarterfinalist level.
The Pinecrest team also placed third overall in the speech sweepstakes.
Questell and Denton, along with other members of the team, traveled to Omaha, Neb., over Memorial Day weekend to compete in the Catholic Forensic League's Grand National Competition. These two, along with the public forum teams of Newman and Gower and Elliott and Vera, Harrison, Rasmus, Laurence, the Ocheltrees and Haden Quinlan, earned this honor through competition in the Raleigh Diocese of the Catholic Forensic League.
Following the release of school on June 12, 11 members of the team will travel to Kansas City, Mo., to compete in the National Forensic League's national championship tournament. These students, Ben Denton in international extemp, Auden Laurence in domestic extemp, Haden Quinland and Josephine Yurcaba in Lincoln-Douglas, Jenny Questell in humorous interp, Doug Harrison in dramatic interp, will be joined by debaters Haden Quinlan and Josephine Yurcaba in Lincoln-Douglas, Joey Rasmus in congressional, and the teams of Kyle Newman/ Emily Gower and Michael Adams/Shayla Birath in public forum debate.
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