Park Hill won two events in the Missouri State Speech and Debate Championships over the weekend with a total of three champions.
Matt Hayes and Jake McFee teamed up in public forum debate to win the bracket, while junior Ben Tuimauga took an individual title in dramatic interpretation. The Trojans had three other state qualifiers and one other top-eight individual finish.
In public forum debate, McFee and Hayes reached the eight-team bracket and then won three straight by a 2-1 count, culminating with a victory against Parkway Central’s Jennifer Heiman and Madeleine Scannell.
Public forum debate, teams of two alternate speeches either affirming or negating a topic of national importance, typically one involving foreign or domestic policy vs. the more philosophical Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Similar to policy debate, the debate in public forum debate is conducted by teams of two people alternating speeches for their side, either affirming or negating their topic. Results are based on not only logical arguments but researched facts presented.
Presenting a piece from “A Staircase in Alepo” by Illias Ba, Tuimauga — a junior — received one of three first-place votes but edged out Raymore-Peculiar’s Austin Moulder by one point. Tuimauga was top-three on all three ballots, while Moulder took the other two first-place votes and fifth.
Dramatic interpretation consists of a performance from a published work that cannot exceed 10 minutes plus a 30-second grace period. The excerpts must be non-comedic and from a play, novel or short story with the performer able to use a monologue or adopt multiple characters.
Park Hill’s Parker Young (domestic extemporaneous speaking), Ethan Simon (humorous interpretation) and Tuimauga (dramatic interpretation) all won district titles while Mary Kathryn Lehmann (original oratory) and Simon (radio speaking) were also state qualifiers.
Simon, a sophomore, finished seventh in radio speaking over the weekend.
Platte County’s Donovan Douglas, a district champion, placed fifth in radio speaking, while senior Hunter Long and junior John Klingele also qualified but did not place in public forum debate. Radio broadcasting involves taking news stories and a commercial and putting them into a cohesive 5-minute newscast.
Park Hill South’s Madeleine Mueller tied for third in Lincoln-Douglas debate after losing in the semifinal round. She tied for fifth at state in 2016 but advanced past the quarterfinals this year with a 2-1 win over Smithville’s Katie Alexander this year.