Two debaters finish fourth in New York City
Two Tonganoxie debaters just racked up their final career trophy a fourth-place national win.
Last Wednesday, a charter bus pulled back into Tonganoxie, complete with 23 road-weary travelers and a trophy won by Luke Manson and Marissa Stephenson.
Manson and Stephenson finished fourth in duo interpretation competition at the National Catholic Forensics Tournament, held May 26-27 in New York City. They were among 14 students representing Tonganoxie High School.
Steve Harrell, THS debate and forensics coach, described the entire tournament as "tough."
For instance, he said Tonganoxie's two policy debate teams, consisting of Darren Welch and Kelly Woelk, and Amelia Earhart and Kyle Rodell, were undefeated after the first three rounds.
"Then they had some tough power matches," Harrell said. "If you're winning your rounds, then you go against other people who have had winning rounds."
After a start of three wins, the Tonganoxie policy debate teams both lost their fourth and fifth rounds.
Harrell said he was impressed with their efforts.
"We came close," Harrell said. "We debated those teams awfully well. We just didn't pick up the wins we needed."
Manson and Stephenson, new graduates of THS, made it to quarter finalists when they competed last year at the NCFT in Rochester, N.Y.
"When they returned this year to the competition with that under their belts, they went two rounds farther than they did last year," Harrell said.
As for the fourth place win she shared with Luke Manson, Marissa Stephenson said, "I couldn't have pictured a better way to go out than this. We may not have won nationals, but we were in finals for the last round of our career and that's where you want to be."
These young people represented Tonganoxie High School at the 2001 NCFL tournament, May 26-27, New York City:
Luke Manson and Marissa Stephenson, fourth place in duo interpretation.
Brooke Ojala and Kelly Gibbens, duo interpretation.
Colby Craig, students in dramatic performance.
Andrew Becker and Caleb Poterbin, extemporaneous speaking.
Britain Stites and Brian Gravatt, Lincoln Douglas debate.
Paul Reetz, student congress.
Darren Welch and Kelly Woelk, and Amelia Earhart and Kyle Rodell, policy teams.