The Dodge City High School completed a feat not done at DCHS in more than a decade this past weekend.

According to DCHS debate coach Steve Ray, a novice team advanced to the semifinals of the Tom Kelly Memorial DCI Tournament in Hutchinson, the highest placement of any DCHS team in this kind of tournament in more than a decade.

The accomplishment was joined by the Red Demons sweeping the top five places in the Open Division with a medalist in the Novice Division to win the sweepstakes trophy at the Redskin Invitational in Liberal all in the same day.

At the Tom Kelly Memorial in Hutchinson, the novice team of Gage Banks and Trinady Luangchai became the first DCHS duo of any kind to advance to the semifinals of a two-day tournament.

The duo got into the quarterfinals with a 3-2 record against some of the toughest competition in the state.

In the midst of their historic run, Banks and Luangchai upset the second seed in the tourney to advance to the semis, falling short of the finals by dropping a split-ballot decision to Olathe North.

"We’ve never had a team advance this far since I’ve been here, so we were very proud of Gage and Trinady," said Ray. "We were also proud of Camillah Khan and Angelica Plata, two other novices that also went 3-2 on the day.

"They just missed the quarters by one speaker point but it was still great having two novice teams among the top 10 in the meet.

"No other school had more."

The team of Hever Arjon and Christopher Montford, part of the two varsity teams at the meet, finished 2-3 and were the top-ranked team after two rounds but lost three straight to teams that finished in the top six.

Deymi Martinez and Mariela Lopez finished just four speaker points behind their teammates.

Meanwhile in Liberal, the team of Alondra Valle and Brian Nguyen were able to claim first place in the Open Division by registering a 5-0 record and a near-perfect 16 speaker points.

Also finishing the day at 5-0 were teammates Joel Soto and Yesenia Guzman with a total of 18 speaker points, giving them the runner-up slot.

Sweeping the next three slots were Dodge City debaters, who all went 4-1 on the day.

"You got to be proud when your teams dominate the way we did at Liberal," said Ray. "To take the top five slots in the Open division and have a 14-1 sweepstakes record is pretty impressive.

"I have to hand it to the kids and my assistant, Mari Dietz, for a truly outstanding meet."

The team of Austin Jacobs and Paige Mink, tallied 19 speaker points taking third while the team of Eduardo Orona and Vanessa Rivero also had 19 speaker points, but opponent’s records placed them fourth.

With a 4-1 mark, the team of Maria Cruz and Kassie Villasenor had 22 speaker points taking fifth place.

In the Novice Division in Liberal, the team of Paris Rivas and Noah Elias, tied for top honors with a 4-1 mark, however, after three tie-breakers were utilized, they settled for second place. No other novices placed.

DCHS will host a tournament this weekend and if anyone is interested in judging or helping in anyway, contact Ray at the high school at 620-227-1611.

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