It has been a busy and rewarding February for the Dodge City High School forensics team.

According to DCHS forensics coach Johnny Dunlap, the team competed in several tournaments in Wichita and Salina for state and national qualifiers.

On Feb. 7-8, the team competed in the Wichita East NIETOC qualifier.

"This was an exciting tournament for a few reasons," Dunlap said. "First, it was one of the largest tournaments in the state, featuring students competing in over 750 events from 34 schools across Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. This was extra challenging since Missouri and Oklahoma were at the end of their Forensics season and Kansas is just in the beginning of ours.

"Second, Friday marked the first time in recent memory, and perhaps ever, DCHS students competed in a Lincoln-Douglas Debate. We went to a Lincoln-Douglas workshop the previous Friday, so they had just one week to prepare."

The team then competed in the National Individual Event Tournament of Champions, bringing home several medals and a NIETOC bid in May.

"Students need two bids to earn a guaranteed berth to the national tournament, and Alicia Santos earned her first in Original Oration," Dunlap said.

On Feb. 15, the team competed in the Salina South NIETOC qualifier.

"They broke five events to semifinals and three to finals," Dunlap said. "Halle Robinson finished sixth place in Humorous Interpretation, which is excellent for such a difficult tournament, but the student who really shined was Arden Ingram."

Ingram, according to Dunlap, finished in first place in Program of Oral Interpretation, granting her a NIETOC bid and a state championship berth.

She also finished second in Informative 10, also earning her a NIETOC and state championship bid.

Ingram would need to earn one more bid this season to stamp her ticket to the national tournament.

“After this Saturday, it is the sprint to the end of the season as we try to shore up state championship spots and nationals qualifications. Our team is working hard to exceed last year’s success,” said Dunlap.

Next, the forensics team will play host to its own tournament Saturday.

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