MOUNT VERNON — Orators and debaters from Mount Vernon High School are taking their opponents by storm.
At the Kiwanis tournament held in Mount Vernon on Nov. 6, the team placed third overall against 11 other teams which included students from Liberty-Benton High School, Marlboro Academy and Upper Arlington.
The MVHS Debate team placed third overall, and Mount Vernon’s best finish was in the Public Forum event where the Yellow Jacket teams finished in third through sixth places. Nicole Moore and Conor Croswell came in third; Hunter Orr and Ben Cochran finished fourth; Lindsey Studebaker and Tori Hall placed fifth; and Trent Grohe and Chelsea Kempton earned sixth-place honors.
Other top finishes for the Yellow Jackets were: Steven Meeker and Erica Browning, third place, Duo Interpretation; Paige Wilt, third place, Original Oratory; Karleigh Stichert, fifth place, Original Oratory; Lisa May, sixth place, Lincoln-Douglas; Bri Gibas, sixth place, Original Oratory; and Arie Alvarado, Student Congress Best Presiding Officer.
“The team is excited and proud that we were able to showcase our talents and hard work to the school district and community,” said coach Jeff Gottke. “We are thankful for our sponsors and parent volunteers and judges who helped to make our tournament success a reality.”
On Nov. 12, the debate team placed sixth overall in the Upper Arlington Optimist Invitational and MVHS continued its domination of the Public Forum event by taking first, second and fourth places. Both first and second place went undefeated. In first place was Tori Hall and Hunter Orr. Finishing second were seniors Lindsey Studebaker and Sarah Bertschy and coming in fourth were Achal Fernando-Peiris and Ben Cochran. Also placing for the Yellow Jackets at the Upper Arlington tournament were Melander Emrys, third place in Student Congress; and Paige Wilt, coming in fourth in Original Oratory.
“This is our best showing ever at this tournament,” said Gottke. “Many traditional powerhouse teams were in attendance and we are very excited to have placed among the best in the region. Congratulations to all those who helped propel Mount Vernon to our highest finish ever at this tournament.
“Overall, we are enjoying a very successful early season,” continued Gottke. “We have placed as a team in the top 6 at two of our first three tournaments. The team works very hard and is enthusiastic about speech and debate. Our success can be attributed to the returning members who have taken the initiative to work with the new students to make them successful. As a coach I want to see the students not only take responsibility for their own performance but to help to develop others as well. This year we have nearly 30 members, which is our largest team ever.”
The Yellow Jackets will be back in action this Saturday at the Copley Invitational.