Freezing weather, late-night practices and glimmering trophies: last weekend, the speech and debate team struck again at the 37th annual Glenbrooks Invitational in Chicago. The tournament is the largest in the nation hosted by a high school. At an event with more than 500 competitors in a wide variety of events, Heritage stood out once again. Events included Congressional Debate, Original Oratory, Informative speaking, Humorous Interpretation, Public Forum Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate and Extemporaneous speaking.
Countless hours went into practice for this tournament, members of each category having practiced about twice a week for a month beforehand. However, team members noticed several unique elements of the tournament which played into their competitive experience, the most resonant being a significant difference in the style of debate prevalent on the midwestern circuit.
Sophomore Ian Bluth, semifinalist in Congressional Debate at Glenbrooks, said, “In Florida, you’re able to be more flexible with how you present yourself, but the midwest judges expect a more rigid adherence to formalities that typically are not weighed as heavily in Florida.” Despite this, Bluth was able to advance to semifinalist, placing him among the top 64 of the total 212 competitors in his category. After Glenbrooks, Bluth now has four bids to the Tournament of Champions, which requires two bids total.
Tournament attendee sophomore Juliette Reyes, currently ranked thirteenth in the nation in Extemporaneous Speaking, competed at Glenbrooks in the latter event as well as Informative Speaking. Although she did not advance to elimination rounds at Glenbrooks, she valued the competitive experience. “We got to meet new people, explore new talent, see new sights and overall became closer as a team. If it weren’t for Glenbrooks, we would not have realized what we needed to work on in order to become more evolved and complete debaters,” said Glenbrooks.
Coach Ryan Hubbard is satisfied overall with the takeaway of the tournament. “It lets us know how we fair nationally,” he said. Aside from making their presence as a team known, Hubbard is certain that the team will benefit from the intense competition endured this weekend. “The results and the feedback we got from judges makes me hopeful not only for the year but for the future building of our team.”
LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE
Plantation – Robby Gillespie Double Octo-Finalist (Top 64) V LD
Boca Delray – Nikita Tanguturi (8th Speaker) Octo-Finalist (Top 16) in JV LD
NOVICE PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE
Plantation – Vijayasai Somasundaram and Jayasai Somasundaram (7th Speaker) -Quarterfinalists
Boca Delray – Pierre Louis (2nd Speaker) & Devon Deford – CHAMPIONS!!!
Plantation – Ian Bluth – Semi-Finalist (TOC BID)
Plantation – Kenzo Kimura – Semi-Finalist (TOC BID)
Plantation – Chris Matei – Finalist (TOC BID)