Speech and Debate thrive at State Qualifications


Marianna Marsden

Kallan Arkeder accepts her first place in Original Advocacy at the Speech and Debate State Qualifying tournament. The finals will be in Modesto from April 25-27.

For the past month, the competitive edge of Speech and Debate students has been put to the test as they have been vying for spots at State Qualifications.  

“The last two weekends have been going very well for us,” junior Sarah Sheets said. “Out of the five spots available in the events, Carlsbad is for sure in three of the spots. Also, last weekend at the individual events, we had more finalists than any other school, which means we are doing pretty well this year.”

With many different categories and a high number of schools in this year’s qualifications, it was quite an accomplishment for Carlsbad High to have so many finalists in each event.

“There were multiple events where more than half of the finalists were from Carlsbad,” junior Elysse O’Neill said. “Next weekend, we have the awards ceremony, so hopefully, we’ll have some competitors actually going to the state tournament.”

Although some competitors will see the glory of the awards ceremony, there is always the bittersweetness of seeing other competitors not make it to the top. Yet, in keeping the “team spirit,” the members applaud each other despite their individual outcomes.

“There were only two freshmen duo groups that made it to the semi-finals, including my group,” freshman Julia Taliana said. “Me and my partner were very exited that we made it that far, but unfortunately, we did not make it to the finals. Although we didn’t make it to finals, we both feel accomplished to even make it to the semi-finals.”

For many, finals weekend was noteworthy–gigantic trophies and bragging rights galore. Overall, CHS scored many victories, including first in ‘Sweepstakes’ and first-place trophies for individual competitors.

“All of the events were a lot of fun,” Speech and Debate teacher Mrs. Curtis said. “Our students did even better than we expected, and I think we really swept the competition. We ended up wining 10 first place championships in all Speech and Debate categories, which was a huge surprise for all of us.”

Certains students will now have to push themselves further, now knowing that they have made it to State, but Mrs. Curtis will guide them every step of the way.

“We cannot rest on our laurels of having got here,” Curtis said. “They are going to have to continue the hard work they have been putting in all year and hopefully make a great showing at the state tournament.”