Students qualify for national debate tournament

Seven students from four high schools qualified for the National Forensic League (NFL) Speech and Debate Tournament during the East Texas NFL District Meet, which was held Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 at Jersey Village High School.

The competition, which featured 30 Houston-area schools, served as a national qualifier for the national tournament, which will be held June 16 – 21 in Birmingham, AL.

Jersey Village High School senior Jamie Meun won the district championship in Humorous Interpretation to qualify for nationals, while also being named Outstanding Graduate for his participation in forensics, academic excellence, campus leadership and extensive hours volunteering in his community.

Three Cypress Creek High School students had six qualifications for nationals: junior Caro Achar was the district champion in US Extemporaneous Speaking, while senior Colton Croft was the district champion in Dramatic Interpretation, Achar placed second in Original Oratory and Croft placed second in Humorous Interpretation, and junior Christian Kimbell placed third in both International Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory.

However, since students can only attend nationals in a single event, Cypress Creek will be represented at the national tournament by Caro Achar in US Extemporaneous Speaking, Colton Croft in Dramatic Interpretation, Christian Kimbell in International Extemporaneous Speaking and junior Nicole Tranchita in Original Oratory.

Other top-10 placers from Cypress Creek were sophomore Thomas Linden, fifth place in Humorous Interpretation; Nicole Tranchita, fifth place in Original Oratory; and junior Adolfo Muñoz, seventh place in Original Oratory.

From Cypress Springs High School, senior Beatriz Barros qualified for nationals in Original Oratory, and will serve as the alternate in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Senior Brandon Boyce will serve as the alternate in Humorous Interpretation.

 Cypress Falls High School was recognized as the outstanding NFL chapter in East Texas. Senior Marissa Cummings qualified for the national tournament for the second consecutive year in Humorous Interpretation.

Cypress Falls’ alternates will be junior Nazifa Mim in Original Oratory, the team of sophomores Jack Jacobson and Aashish Jhangiani in Public Forum Debate and the team of seniors Hassan Khan and Nikunj Soni in Lincoln Douglas Debate.

“The tournament is like a three-day marathon, and the intensity is physically and emotionally exhausting,” said Debbie Waddell, Cypress Falls speech and debate coach. “It is an honor to be the district chairman for such a talented group of performers and debaters. East Texas is always well represented at the national tournament.”

CFISD debate students will next compete at the 2013 Texas Forensic Association State Meet, scheduled for March 7-10 in Grand Prairie.

Cy-Creek Winners

Forensics Cy Creek: Cypress Creek High School students, from left to right, Nicole Tranchita, Colton Croft, Christian Kimbell and Caro Achar qualified for the National Forensic League (NFL) Speech and Debate Tournament after their top showings at the East Texas NFL District Meet Feb. 28-March 2.