WHS Debate Excels In Recent Tournaments

The Wellington High School debate team’s third and fourth debate tournaments of the 2012-13 season proved to be a continuation of the Wolverines’ success.

At the Yale Invitational Sept. 19-21 in New Haven, Conn., Stephie Maravankin ranked first in her preliminary Congressional Debate chamber, advancing to the tournament’s semifinal round and securing a Tournament of Champions bid. She also earned the National Forensic League Speech and Debate Honor Society’s “Degree of Superior Distinction” by reaching the 750-point mark. She ranks second among current debaters in NFL points.

In addition, Yourui Ruan went 4-2 in junior varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate competition, advancing to the double-octofinal round. He ended preliminary rounds as the 15th seed and the fourth-best speaker.

At the Flying L Invitational at Fort Lauderdale High School on Saturday, Sept. 29, Michael Leatherman earned the first place trophy in Lincoln Douglas Debate with a perfect 4-0 record, earning 117.3 of a possible 120 speaker points. In Public Forum Debate, two of Wellington’s teams went 3-1. Alexa Fortuna and Logan Weber went 3-1 and placed 11th out of more than 50 teams overall, while the team of Greg Foster and Vinnie Gasso went 3-1 and ranked 12th overall.

In addition, the team of Olivia Davy and Jayleen James went 2-2 and placed 15th overall.

In her first-ever competition in Original Oratory, Madison Dalton placed eighth overall, while Michael Reynolds placed 11th in Dramatic Performance out of more than 40 competitors.

Five Wellington debaters earned advanced NFL degrees at the Flying L Invitational. Juan Arango, Foster, Gasso and Weber all surpassed the 250-point mark, earning NFL “Degree of Distinction” recognition, while Davy earned her Degree of Honor by surpassing the 75-point plateau. Davy also earned her Wellington debate varsity letter, which she will receive at the team’s spring banquet.

Wellington’s next tournament is the Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League event Saturday, Oct. 13 at Lake Worth High School. Wellington debate is coached by Paul L. Gaba.