For the second time this season, the Dodge City High School debate team was able to divide its members and resources, send them to two separate tournaments and still come home with impressive hardware from both meets.
One group of 20 debaters claimed top honors in the Ulysses Debate Invitational this past Saturday while a second contingent of eight nabbed the runner-up trophy at the Tiger Debate Tournament in Clay Center that same day.
The Demon Debaters totally dominated the field at Ulysses.
The Dodge City Gang had three of the top six teams in the open division and an equal number of medalists in the novice division.
Leading the way was the sophomore duo of Alondra Valle and Brian Nguyen, who went undefeated in five rounds to top the field. Teammates Hever Arjon and Rileigh Heeke were right behind in second place at 4-1.
Mia Ochoa and Emily Palmer put together a 3-2 mark on the day to finish sixth overall.
In the novice division, Elizabeth Cox and Jessica Rivera won first place. The two freshmen dropped their opening round of the day, but rattled off four straight victories to claim their medals.
Classmates Sofia Soto and Cassandra Rosales finished the day at 3-2 to nail down fifth while Yesenia Guzman and Jackie Soto, who were also 3-2, took sixth.
The combined efforts helped DCHS register a 13-2 sweepstakes record and helped them easily outdistance runner-up, Garden City, and third place finisher Liberal for the championship plaque.
At Clay Center, a pair of novices led the way for the Demons.
Maria Cruz and Autumn Klein were unbeaten in posting their third tourney title of the season.
The pair was just one point shy of earning a perfect set of speaker evaluations as they completely outclassed the field of 17 teams. In the open division, senior standouts, Alejandro Rangel and Daniel Soriano just missed on their bid to win their fourth tournament this season.
They entered the final round unbeaten and leading the field, but dropped a decision to the eventual champs and fell to third overall. When teammates Tyler Pipenger and John Pinkerton, Deymi Martinez and Guadalupe Hipolito, also dropped their final round decisions of the day, the Demon crew had to settle for second place behind Sterling. Rock Creek finished third.
For the year, the Demon Debaters have won first place in five meets and have placed second in three more. The team wraps up the regular season this Saturday when eight debaters compete in the Moundridge Four-Speaker Tournament.
After that, the next opportunities to compete will be at the two state tournaments to be held the first two weekends in January.