Luke Bledsoe and Jet Semrick, Shawnee Mission East seniors, earned first-place in policy debate at this year’s National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament.
The team demonstrated “extreme dedication and perseverance” to achieve at this level of competition, coach Trey Witt said.
“They have had an outstanding year, but any time they lose, they do their most to absorb the critiques of their judges and learn from losses,” Witt said. “Being coachable is an essential factor to this type of success.”
The competition, featuring a variety of public speaking and performing events, drew about 3,600 students from across the county to compete in Milwaukee, Wis.
Luke Knopke, senior, and Reilly Kenney, sophomore, from Shawnee Mission East, qualified for the semifinal round in duo interpretation. Senior Nicholas Wallenberg and sophomore Zachary Wallenberg from Shawnee Mission West advanced to the quarterfinal round and placed 16th in the nation in duo interpretation.
The following students from across the Shawnee Mission School District also qualified to compete in the national competition:
SM West: Emma Worthington
SM West: Rebecca Cathey
Lincoln Douglas Debate:
SM North: Tyler Ruzich
Public Forum Debate:
SM North: Zora Stewart-Jones and Hananeel Morinville
SM South: Cyan Ridge and Arden Larsen
SM West: Ashley Wright
SM South: Grace Vavek
SM North: Arthur Bagdasaryan
SM East: Sam Sokoloff
SM East: Margaret Veglahn