WHS Debaters Set Team Records At Qualifier

The Wellington High School debaters set multiple team records at the 2014 Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League “Grand Finals” national championship qualifier tournament last Saturday at William T. Dwyer High School.

A dozen Wolverines will invade Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend to compete at this year’s NCFL national championship — the most ever to represent Wellington at CatNats.

In addition, Wellington took first place overall in three events at the grand finals: Congressional Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate and Public Forum Debate. It was the most first-place finishes Wellington has achieved at the national qualifier.

In Congressional Debate, junior Michael Leatherman earned the top spot among nearly 50 students, 19 of whom advanced to the final round. Three other Wellington debaters — junior Kwadjo Walker, sophomore Victor Sanchez and freshman Pallavi Taneja — also advanced to the finals of Congressional Debate.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, senior Yourui Ruan went 5-0 in taking first place. In Public Forum Debate, the team of seniors Vinnie Gasso and Caitlyn Konopka also went 5-0 in taking top honors. Seniors Greg Foster and Kevin Murphy, and freshmen Gillian Kruisland and Caramen McDaniel, also qualified in Public Forum Debate.

Wellington also had a pair of Duo Interpretation competitive acting teams qualify for Chicago: senior Dylan Race and sophomore Savannah Race performing “Employees Must Wash Hands… Before Murder” by Don Zolidis, and sophomores Antoinette Gray and Cameron Harker performing Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park.”

Three additional NFL honor degrees were earned. Dylan Race surpassed 500 points (Degree of Special Distinction), Olivia Davy passed the 250-point level (Degree of Distinction) and Pallavi Taneja earned her Degree of Honor by passing the 75-point mark. Wellington now has 266 total degrees, most in the Florida Oceanfront NFL District. The team is coached by Paul L. Gaba.

ABOVE: Members of the Wellington High School debate team.