Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Whitman debate team takes three top prizes

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Walt Whitman High School’s speech and debate team has argued its way to the top.

The team was recently recognized at all three of the national tournaments it attended.

At the National Forensics League (NFL) national tournament in Las Vegas June 20, the team won the Schwan’s National School of Excellence Award in Debate.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, the team traveled to Wisconsin where it won the 2008 School of Excellence National Debate Sweepstakes at the National Catholic Forensics League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament. The award is given to the top five debate schools in the nation.

Team president and rising senior Ellen Noble won the 2008 NCFL National Championship in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Noble claimed the victory after a 3-2 decision in front of more than 100 spectators.

‘‘It was really nerve-racking,” Noble said. ‘‘It was a lot scarier than I expected, but it was really exciting. The year before I didn’t even make it into the elimination round so it was a huge improvement.”

Over the weekend of May 4, Whitman performed exceptionally well in the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Kentucky, entering 10 students, the third largest delegation in the country.

‘‘The team has done really well all year,” coach Anjan Choudhury said. ‘‘They’ve won over 450 awards individually. I knew we had a chance because last year we were really close. I was surprised by how all the different parts of the team came together and did really well all at once.”