Speech and Debate team sweeps competition at UT Austin

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After a competitive weekend, the speech and debate team took home second place at the Longhorn Classic Tournament held at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). Students traveled to Texas  Dec. 2-5, to compete in their specific event, facing over 1,200 other high school students from 108 schools. 

Aside from earning second place overall, 23 students took home individual awards. 

Triple Octofinalists:

  • Evan Burkeen, 12
  • Matthew Rodriguez, 10


  • Saanya Dham, 10
  • Carly Aikens, 12
  • Anagha Iyer, 9
  • Hank Nathanson, 9
  • Veer Roy, 10
  • Spencer Swickle, 11
  • Laura Marberger and Jade Capella, 9


  • Shreyan Singha, 10
  • World Schools Team
    • Jake Zeng, 10
    • Taeyoung Kim, 11
    • Charlotte Wu, 11
    • Rosa Wu, 12
    • Asha Patra, 12 


  • 2nd Place: Jaimee Canalejo, 9
  • 4th place: Jade Capella, 9


  • Kennedy Hack-Juman, 10
  • Esther Oyetunji, 10 
  • Mason Cheng and Ethan Roytman, 11

Speech students junior Kennedy Hack-Juman and sophomore Jaimee Canalejo practice performing their pieces before the final round. Freshman Jade Capella finishes her informative speech in her final round. (Photos/Joele Denis)

The team shows their love for Austin and each other by posing in front of the iconic aesthetic Austin ‘I Love You’ sign. (Photo/Joele Denis)

Emma, a current sophomore at American Heritage, is extremely excited to be joining the Patriot Post Staff this year! As an active reader and writer, she is often found scribbling away in a notebook or devouring a novel. Outside of newspaper, she is an active member of Science Research, Model UN, Science Olympiad, Key Club, and much more. In her rare free time, you can find her watching musicals, volunteering at an assisted living facility for the memory-loss, or catching up on her latest TV drama.