Ella VanCott, Mason Leavitt, Sofie Larsen Teskey and Katelyn McAllister took top honors Jan. 8-9 as the Hood River Valley Speech and Debate Team attended the Hap Hingston Invitational at Pacific University, the team’s first two-day tournament of the year.
Twenty-three Hood River competitors attended the tournament and 13 made it to the final round of competition in their events. The team placed third in Division One (Large Team) sweepstakes.
VanCott and McAllister took firsts in Junior Duo and VanCott was fourth in Junior Impromptu; McAllister was second in Junior Poetry. Leavitt was named First Speaker in Junior Public Forum Debate. Teskey took first in POI, which tests a student’s ability to combine multiple genres of literature centered on a single theme.
Named Second Speaker for the tournament were Amy Webber in Junior Public Forum Debate, and Soren Rajani in Parliamentary Debate.
“The First and Second Speaker awards for debaters are a little different than just winning a debate — because in team debate they make finals based on winning or losing the debate, individual speakers are also awarded speaker points,” explained Coach DeLona Campos-Davis. “So you might be awarded the highest speaker points, as were our debaters, but still not win all the debates.”
Emily Mitchell took second in POI and fifth in Junior Prose, Hannah Hart second in Poetry, Olivia Acosta third in Poetry, Soren Rajani second in Junior After Dinner Speaking, Elle Chamberlain sixth in Junior After Dinner Speaking, Lillian Ontiveros fifth in Junior Radio, Sarah Wang sixth in Junior Impromptu, Darrian Thomas sixth in After Dinner Speaking, and Ruby Patterson sixth in Poetry.
— Ruby Patterson contributed to this article.