One student added to state championship forensics competition

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
DCHS forensics students Halle Robinson, Hever Arjon, Rebekah Mazza and Brennan Carbajal competed in the Derby Panther Invitational, National Individual Events Tournament of Champions. The team took 3rd place overall and Robinson earned a bid to the state championships.

The Dodge City High School forensics team recently took third place at the Derby Panther Invitational, a National Individual Events Tournament of Champions qualifier, and won medals at Olathe Northwest.

According to DCHS forensics coach Johnny Dunlap, medals from the Derby tournament are as follows:

• Halle Robinson - first place in Humorous Interpretation, earning her a state championship berth; fourth place in Interpretation of Prose.

• Hever Arjon - third place in Original Oration; fourth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate.

• Rebekah Mazza - third place in Program of Oral Interpretation; fourth place in Interpretation of Poetry.

• Brennan Carbajal - sixth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate.

At Olathe Northwest:

• Bryce Moore and Angel Amaro - fourth place in Duo Interpretation.

• Alicia Santos broke to semifinals but did not advance to finals.

"As this activity sometimes goes, it was a great weekend followed by a much more difficult weekend," said Dunlap. "At Derby, we had several competitors in the finals, but most of them came up just short of a state championship berth or NIETOC bid. They finished third or fourth when they needed to be first or second.

"We’re still proud of them and they performed extremely well, defeating dozens of other competitors, but it’s frustrating for them to be so close and come up short."

According to Dunlap, the tournament at Olathe Northwest was synchronously live streamed over two days, which made it the largest tournament competition of the season.

"Larger tournaments allow no room for error, so even making it to elimination rounds (semifinals and finals) is difficult," said Dunlap. "The team has competed in six tournaments so far this season."

With the recent tournament competitions in the rearview, it left DCHS with five students qualified for the state championships in seven events, with three students earning one bid for the National Individual Event Tournament of Champions.

"This is about the midpoint of the season with about as many tournaments left in the regular season," said Dunlap. "The National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament Regional Qualifier is in April, followed by the State Championship in early May and NIETOC one week later."

Should the team have any students qualify for the National Speech & Debate Association national tournament, they will compete in June.

The DCHS forensics team is now competing in the Salina South/Kansas State Feline Frolic NIETOC Qualifier, which runs from March 11-13.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@gannett.com