Miners Dominate Competition



Photo by Photo courtesy of Yearbook

Bingham’s 2013-2014 Debate Team.

Julie Derhak & Anna Roberts, A&E Editor and Staff Writer

On March 14-15 Bingham’s debate team conquered all other 5A schools at the state debate competition at Weber State University. Twenty-five students, after six months of preparation, competed in eight different events. Bingham placed in National Extemporaneous Speaking, Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, Public Forum, Policy debate, Congressional debate, and Lincoln-Douglass debates.

Mohan Sudabattula was an Individual State Champion in National Extemporaneous Speaking, which requires debaters to prepare a speech in thirty minutes and then recite it by memory. Samantha Lily also placed in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, taking second place.

The preparation for State consisted of practicing four to five hours after school for twenty-one days along with pouring over hundreds of news articles and researching dozens of potential speech topics. Even on the day of the gas leak debators met up at a local library and practiced for hours.

“During debate, your social life completely deteriorates, said senior Mohan Sudabatula. “People were asking me if I was in the hospital or if I had transferred.”

This devotion to the Debate team bonded them stronger than family through the driven vision of their goal to win State.

The effort put into practicing made Mohan feel that Bingham became his home and his house was just a place to sleep.

After five preliminary rounds, eight students are selected to advance to elimination rounds. If a team has two members reach the elimination rounds, it’s called a close-out. Thomas Phung and Miriam Leany achieved a close-out in the Lincoln-Douglass debates, while Jordan Wood and Andrew Soper and Alex and Nick Nussenveig closed-out in the team Policy debates. As a team, Giu Vendemiatti and Tabish Monroe became quarter-finalists in Public Forum, and Connor Curtis was a quarter-finalist in the Lincoln-Douglass debates. These events call for aggressive debate skills, requiring these debators to practice over forty hours per week.

Seth Singleton and Emerson Ford were finalists in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, Chandler Ward and Owen Karauss were finalists in National Extemporaneous Speaking, and Yenngi Hoang and Alexic McMillan both placed in Congressional debate.

Despite having to train many new debators and recieving a lot of criticism, Bingham’s debate team won yet another State title, validating all the blood, sweat, and tears put into the competition.