by Isha Lele and Gigi Protasiewicz
Here at HB, there are so many clubs and teams to join that it’s hard to keep up with everything! Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook things because there is just too much to follow! Here’s an update on the Speech and Debate team’s post season to keep you updated about yet another great program HB has the opportunity to offer.
Districts/Littles/State Qualifiers (Berea-Midpark-February 6): This year the Hathaway Brown Speech and Debate team traveled to Berea High/Middle Schools, and after a full day of debating, had 21 people qualify to the Ohio High School Speech League State tournament! HB’s team qualified the 4th most people in the district out of over 25 schools! This was the 4th consecutive year HB qualified more than 20 people people to the state tournament. Almost half of these girls are also first time qualifiers and eager to get to their first state tournament! The qualifiers are as listed:
Sophie Sacks (‘18): Informative Speaking
Molly Gleydura (‘18): Declamation
Divya Sasidhar (‘18): Declamation
Gina Egan (‘18): United States Extemporaneous Speaking
Ananya Kalahasti (‘17): International Extemporaneous Speaking
Kavya Menon (‘16): Humorous Speaking
Amaya Razmi (‘18): Lincoln Douglas Debate
Gigi Protasiewicz (‘17): Lincoln Douglas Debate
Lydia Spencer (‘17): Lincoln Douglas Debate
Daria Gitiforooz (‘19): Congressional Debate
Amelia Seger (‘18): Congressional Debate
Isha Lele (‘18): Congressional Debate
Grace Homany (‘17): Congressional Debate
Coralin Li (‘18)/ Jennifer Wang (‘19): Public Forum Debate
Lina Ghosh (‘17)/ Regan Brady (‘17): Public Forum Debate
Oriana Cruz (‘17)/ Aarathi Sahadevan (‘16): Public Forum
Anna Lietman (‘16)/ Evie Schumann (‘16): Public Forum
Congress National Qualifiers (Lincoln West-February 13): Last year at Congress National Qualifiers, HB had their best finish ever. The team of Emily Amjad (‘15), Morgan Austin (‘15), Talia Bhaiji (‘15), Isha Lele (‘18), Amelia Seger (‘18), and Gina Egan (‘18), won the award for the best congress team in the district after a great showing at the national qualifying tournament. This was the first time HB has ever won this sweepstakes award. Of the five spots to nationals, two were taken by HB girls out of the more than one hundred students competing. Morgan Austin and Isha Lele both traveled to Dallas that June and advanced to the semi-finals amongst 200 of the best congressional debaters in the country. These two girls were the only girls to qualify in any event to the national tournament last year from HB. Morgan even went on to the finals, placing in the top 24. Both girls were the first girls from HB to ever break (advance) in a round at nationals. Morgan was also the first HB student to ever qualify to nationals twice (after qualifying her junior year). This year, after such a great showing from last year, with many HB records broken, the expectations were high. Although the team didn’t win the sweepstakes award, Isha Lele qualified to nationals again. She also won the Gay Janis Award for the best congressional debater in the district, given to the debater with the best collective record at local tournaments. This was HB’s first time winning the award, proving that HB’s congress team is still as strong and dominant as ever.
Bigs/National Qualifiers (St. Ignatius – February 19-20): This past weekend, many HB debaters competed in two full days of debate at the National Qualifying Tournament. Amaya Razmi, Gina Egan, and Kavya Ravichandran all made it extremely far in both days of competition. Lydia Spencer even broke to the final 9 of Lincoln-Douglas debate. The Public Forum team of Oriana Cruz and Aarathi Sahadevan got the first alternate spot, after beating nationally ranked teams. Ananya Kalahasti also got to the finals in International Extemporaneous speaking and earned first alternate! Gigi Protasiewicz qualified in Lincoln-Douglas debate after being the only debater to go undefeated for the day. Additionally, the team of Margaret Broihier and Julia Sabik qualified to Nationals in Policy debate, and backdoor qualified to the state tournament as well. This makes our number of state qualifiers go up to 23. HB ended up qualifying competitors in 3 of the 4 types of debates, tying for the best overall finish of any debate team! So, all in all, HB ended up qualifying four people: Julia Sabik/Margaret Broihier (Policy debate), Gigi Protasiewicz (Lincoln-Douglas Debate), and Isha Lele (Congressional Debate), the most national qualifiers HB has ever had in one year!
In the next few weeks you may hear these students stressing about states in the hall. On March 3rd, 23 girls will be traveling to Cincinnati to compete in the OHSSL state tournament. Our record breaking number of four national qualifiers will be traveling in June to Salt Lake City to compete in the national tournament. If you see any of these girls in the hall, make sure to congratulate them on their great accomplishments! Go HB Speech and Debate!