MC Speech and Debate team continues on success


During the month of February, Madison Central Speech and Debate has traveled near and far, receiving accolades wherever they go.

At the beginning of the month, the team went to the Hub City Classic at Hattiesburg High, the longest-running invitational in Mississippi. With a group of only 11 students, MC earned third place overall against teams that had over double the size of the competing squad. At the tournament, sophomore Megan Staehling won first place in Declamation, making it her second time winning the event this year.

The team then traveled to the JCFL tournament held at Starkville High School which qualifies students to the NCFL Grand National Tournament in Chicago in May. At the tournament, MC had qualifiers for nationals in every event but one. The team also had multiple triple or double-qualifiers, including Sarah Grace Shurden triple-qualifying in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Original Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking, Neely Kiihnl qualifying in Congressional Debate and Declamation, Vineeth Vanga qualifying in Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory, Kelsey Mayhan qualifying in Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking and Patricia Bethea and Isabelle Clemens qualifying in Duo Interpretation and Dramatic Performance. The team earned many additional qualifiers as well as alternates to the tournament held in Chicago in May.

The team also brought three members of the team to the University of California at Berkeley to compete at the Cal Invitational. Team President Kelsey Mayhan earned quarterfinals in Informative Speaking and Octafinals in Extemporaneous Speaking at one of the largest tournaments the team will attend this year. The Policy Team of Thaddeus Flagge and Christian Gines left the tournament with a record of 3-3. Over 2000 miles away, the team also competed at the Maroon and Gold Middle School Invitational at Northwest Jackson Baccalaureate Middle School. Sixth-grader Noah Clapper earned fourth place in Impromptu Speaking during his first time doing the event. Clapper will be competing at the National Speech and Debate Association Middle School Tournament in Albuquerque, NM in May.

The team now prepares to attend the National Speech and Debate Association Debate Qualifiers to fight for a spot at nationals in Albuquerque, NM this summer.

The team is under the direction of Mrs. Rachel Clapper-Davis.


Hub City Classic at Hattiesburg High — Declamation: 1st-Megan Staehling, 4th- Yumnaa Shaheen, Semifinals- Leo Mei, Miriam Milan, Jason Tu Impromptu Speaking: 6th- Miriam Milan Semifinals- Sarah LeRoux, Megan Staehling Informative Speaking- 2nd- Vineeth Vanga Original Oratory: Semifinals- Vineeth Vanga, Camille Coleman, Yumnaa Shaheen Policy: Semifinals- Leo Mei/Jason Tu Program Oral Interpretation: Semifinals- Vineeth Vanga Prose Interpretation: 6th- Megan Staehling Public Forum Debate: Semifinals- Sarah LeRoux/Yumnaa Shaheen Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking- Semifinals- Sarah LeRoux, Jason Tu

JCFL at Starkville High — Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Qualifier- Sarah Grace Shurden, Alternate- Kelsey Mayhan Original Oratory: Qualifiers- Sarah Grace Shurden, Shreya Sinha, Vineeth Vanga, Alternate- Caroline Corkern, Dramatic Performance: Qualifiers- Camille Coleman, Madison Biggerstaff, Nina Gault, Patricia Bethea, Isabelle Clemens Declamation: Qualifiers- Neely Kiihnl, Megan Staehling, Bekah Woodruff, Alternate- Julia Van Lake, Duo Interpretation: Qualifiers- Patricia Bethea/Isabelle Clemens, Extemporaneous Speaking: Qualifiers- Sarah Grace Shurden, Kelsey Mayhan, Vineeth Vanga, Alternate- John Phelan, Oral Interpretation of Literature: Qualifiers- Holly Hunt, Emma Stone, Alternate- Nina Gault, Congressional Debate: Qualifiers- Neely Kiihnl, Kelsey Mayhan, Alternate- Miriam Milan Policy Debate: Qualifiers- Thaddeus Flagge/Christian Gines, Leo Mei/Jason Tu

Cal Invitational at the University of California, Berkeley — Informative Speaking: Quarterfinals- Kelsey Mayhan, Extemporaneous Speaking: Octafinals- Kelsey Mayhan

Maroon and Gold Middle School Invitational at Northwest Jackson International Baccalaureate Middle School — Impromptu Speaking: 4th- Noah Clapper

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