Wellington Debate News 2010-11

FFL Novice States @ Timber Creek: Wellington Debate had an amazing weekend in Orlando at the 2011 Florida Forensic League Novice State Championship Tournament May 13-15, with tons of accolades and advancements up the debate ladder. In Public Forum Debate, two of Wellington's state record-tying seven teams advanced past preliminary rounds at Timber Creek High School. Dominick DeFazio & Alexa Fortuna entered the partial double-octo round with a 4-2 record and as the tournament's 16th seed, while Sabrina Abesamis & Juliana Diatezua also went 4-2 and were ranked 24th out of the 77 teams that completed the tournament. Wellington was the only Palm Beach County school to have PFD teams in break rounds. Three teams went 3-3 and narrowly missed breaking at the tournament: Vincent Gasso & Richard Odle, CJ Lewis & Scott Meskin, and Joe Chiarenza & Kevin Murphy. DeFazio was ranked the 24th-best overall PFD speaker, while Odle was 37th, Fortuna 41st, and Abesamis 45th. Wellington earned seven new National Forensic League degrees, bringing its overall total to 210, and 79 new degrees for the year. Senior Jack Townsend earned 18 judging points, hitting the 1,000 mark and earning his Degree of Outstanding Distinction. He is the 21st Wellington debater to ever hit the 1,000-point mark, and the second in this year's graduating class. In addition, Gasso surpasses the 150-point mark, earning his Degree of Excellence. Surpassing the 75-point plateau, and earning the Degree of Honor (and WHS varsity debate letters) were Diatezua, Jayleen James, and Ross Lustgarten, while Emmett Needels became a member of the National Forensic League by hitting the 25-point Degree of Merit mark.

PBCFL Grand Finals National Qualifier @ Crestwood: Seven members of the Wellington Debate Team will be in Washington, DC over Memorial Day weekend to compete in the 2010 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National championship tournament. The students qualified at this past weekend's PBCFL Grand Finals tournament at Crestwood Middle School. Representing Wellington are the Duo Interpretation teams of Valentina Ferreira and Michael Reynolds, and Danielle Buxbaum and Madi McDole. Olivia Davy will compete in Declamation, and the pair of Katerina Mangini and Richard Odle will be Wellington's first Policy Debate team to compete at a national championship since 2005. Lee Parker is second alternate in Student Congress, where Madison Dalton also advanced to the Super Congress level. In Public Forum Debate, Joe Chiarenza and Kevin Murphy went 4-1 in preliminary rounds and had the third seed heading into bracket competition. The team ended as second alternate in PFD. McDole, Chiarenza and Murphy each earned their varsity debate letter, while PFDer Rachel Ganon surpassed 500 points and earned her Degree of Special Distinction.

FFL Varsity States @ Wellington: Ryan Kennedy advanced to the partial-octofinal round of Lincoln Douglas Debate at the Wellington-hosted Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championship Tournament the first weekend in March. Kennedy went 4-2 in preliminary rounds and was ranked 13th overall.

NFL Panther District National Qualifier @ Jupiter: For the third time in five years, Wellington Debate will be represented at the National Forensic League's national championship tournament. Katerina Mangini and Richard Odle became the first Policy Debate team since 2002 to advance to the NFL's championship competition, going 3-1 in the Panther District qualifier at Jupiter High School February 25-26. They defeated Orlando-area teams from Trinity Prep and Lake Mary Prep to advance to the June 11-18 nationals in Dallas, Texas. In Public Forum Debate, two teams advanced to the semi-final (sixth) round, the pair of Jack Townsend and Rachel Ganon, and of John Cassel and Dominick DeFazio. Townsend/Ganon are second alternates to advance to the Dallas tournament. The Duo Interpretation team of Michael Reynolds and Valentina Ferreira advanced to the final round of their interpretive event, placing sixth overall. In supplemental events, freshmen debaters Madison Dalton and Alexa Fortuna placed second in Extemporaneous Duo.

2011 PBCFL @ Palm Beach Central: Wellington's Duo Interpretation team of Michael Reynolds and Valentina Ferreira bested 20 other pairs to score a near-perfect first place finish at the Feb. 12 PBCFL at Palm Beach Central. Only a second-place rank in the fourth round of competition prevented the sophomore duo from taking straight first-place ballots. In Public Forum Debate, the team of senior Jack Townsend and sophomore Rachel Ganon went 3-1 and placed sixth overall, two speaker points in front of the PFD team of freshmen Alexa Fortuna and Stephie Maravankin, who took seventh out of 47 teams. Freshman Madison Dalton placed sixth in her Legislative Debate chamber, and was the highest-ranking novice in her Senate. Freshman Jazmon Morgan placed 11th of 28 in Oral Interpretation. Wellington earned five new National Forensic League degrees, bringing its overall total to 184: sophomore Ryan Kennedy earned his Degree of Distinction by surpassing the 250-point mark; novice debaters Dalton and Morgan each surpassed the 75-point mark, earning the Degree of Honor and their Wellington Debate varsity letters; and novices Heather Brown and Nicole Mancini each earned their NFL certification and the Degree of Merit.

2011 FFL Macaw Region State Quals @ Jensen Beach: Three Wellington Debate sophomores will represent the Wolverines at the 2011 Florida Forensic League State Championship Tournament on March 4-5. At the Macaw Region Qualifier at Jensen Beach February 5, Ryan Kennedy went 3-1 in Lincoln Douglas and placed second overall, while the Duo Interp team of Michael Reynolds and Valentina Ferreira took third in the region with their presentation of (500) Days of Summer. Reynolds is also first alternate in Humorous Interpretation. The state championship is being hosted by Wellington High School.

2011 Barkley Forum @ Emory University: The Public Forum Team of senior John Cassel and freshman Dominick DeFazio was one of 32 teams to break past preliminary rounds at the 2011 Barkley Forum for High School Students at Emory University, January 28-30. The team's run ended in the double-octofinal round. Three debaters - DeFazio, senior CJ Lewis and freshman Scott Meskin - surpassed 150 National Forensic League points at the tournament.

2010 PBCFL Funvitational @ West Boca Raton:At the Saturday, December 11 PBCFL tournament at West Boca Raton, seven Wellington debaters were recognized, several others were oh-so-close, and nine earned either their National Forensic League membership or an advanced degree. In Public Forum Debate, where 28 teams competed, the team of Stephie Maravankin and Richard Odle placed fifth overall, while the pairing of Scott Meskin and CJ Lewis was sixth. Both teams went 3-1. The team of Madison Dalton and Jazmon Morgan also went 3-1 and placed ninth overall. Wellington's five other entries each went 2-2, giving Wellington an overall winning percentage of .593. In Duo Interpretation, the pair of Danielle Buxbaum and Madi McDole placed fifth overall, while the Extemporaneous Duo team of Kelly Gilsinan and Mike Reynolds also placed fifth. In Declamation, Olivia Davy placed second in her first venture in the event. Ryan Kennedy went 3-1 in Spontaneous Argumentation, placing 11th out of 32 entries. Earning the NFL Degree of Merit were Sabrina Abisamis, Joe Chiarenza, Nick Chiarenza, Olivia Davy, Kelly Gilsinan, Jared Munguia, Richaed Odle, and Haley Torres, while Vincent Gasso surpassed the 75-point mark and earned his Degree of Honor.

2010 Patriot Games Invitational @ George Mason University:The holiday festivities started in Fairfax, Virginia the weekend of December 4-5, where sophomore Valentina Ferreira advanced to the quarterfinal round of competition in Prose Interpretation and sophomore Michael Reynolds narrowly missed advancing to quarterfinals in Humorous Interpretation, missing by only one speaker rank.

2010 Blue Key Invitational @ University of Florida: A small but talented group of Wolverine debaters proudly represented Wellington at the 2010 Florida Blue Key Invitational in Gainesville over Halloween weekend.
Sophomore Michael Reynolds placed 26th overall in Humorous Interpretation, narrowly missing advancement to the quarterfinal round. This allowed him to compete with a peer from Trinity Prep (Orlando) in the Extemporaneous Duo supplemental event, where he took home a fourth-place plaque for his performance.
Three Wellington debaters earned advanced National Forensic League degrees - Reynolds (who earned the 250-point Degree of Distinction), CJ Lewis (75-point Degree of Honor), and Stephie Maravankin (Degree of Honor).

2010 PBCFL @ Lake Worth HS: Wellington debaters were in force at the October 23 PBCFL Lake Worth tournament Saturday, and the results were solid.
In Varsity Public Forum Debate, the team of seniors Jack Townsend & Jeff Sall - debating together for the first time since NCFL Nationals in Appleton, Wisconsin in May 2008 - went 3-1 and placed third overall, while in Novice PFD, Wellington's teams of Juliana Diatezua & Jayleen James, and CJ Lewis & Conor McPherson, each went 3-1 as well. Diatezua/James placed 8th of 28 teams overall, while Lewis/McPherson was 9th.
In Student Congress, David Levitt placed sixth in his chamber. Four other Wellington legislators - Ross Lustgarten, Eve Tenenbaum, Kevin Murphy and Sydney Rogalsky - each received judge votes.
The Varsity Duo Interp team of Michael Reynolds & Valentina Ferreira placed third overall with their performance of "(500) Days of Summer." In Oral Interpretation, Nick Thibault placed 10th, and Jazmon Morgan 11th.
Eight students earned new National Forensic League degrees. Five novices - Diatezua, James, Lustgarten, McPherson and Morgan - each surpassed the 25-point mark and achieved the NFL Degree of Merit. Alexa Fortuna became the first 2010-11 novice to hit the 75-point mark, earning the Degree of Honor; she will receive her varsity letter at the spring banquet, and has earned the right to wear honor cords at commencement. Sall surpassed the 250-point Degree of Distinction mark, while Townsend earned his Degree of Superior Distinction, passing the 750-point plateau.

2010 Titan Invitational @ Nova HS: Wellington Debate continued its stellar season at the 2010 Titan Invitational at Nova High School.
Sophomore Michael Reynolds advanced past preliminary rounds in two events at the Oct. 15-16 tournament, making it to semifinal rounds in both Humorous Interpretation and Duo Interpretation. It was Michael and sophomore partner Valentina Ferreira's first duo tournament together.
Freshman Jazmon Morgan broke to semifinals in Novice Oral Interpretation at her second-ever tournament.
In Public Forum Debate, senior John Cassel and sophomore Rachel Ganon went 4-1 in preliminary rounds and advanced to the tournament's octofinal bracket as one of the top 16 teams.
In Student Congress, where varsity and novice students competed together, freshmen David Levitt and Ross Lustgarten each received trophies as their respective chamber's top novice legislator.
Four debaters earned their National Forensic League membership this weekend: Madison Dalton, Vincent Gasso, CJ Lewis, and Levitt. Each surpassed the 25-point plateau and will receive their Degree of Merit certificates around October 28.
Other highlights for another successful weekend:
- Kurt Burnett earned 33 Student Congress NFL points, giving seven speeches in his chamber, while Levitt earned 33 points giving eight speeches.
- Lewis and Alexa Fortuna went either 4-1 or 3-2 (we're missing a ballot) in their first tournament as Public Forum Debater partners.
- Ryan Kennedy went 3-2 in Lincoln Douglas Debate.
- Scott Meskin assumed the role of Presiding Officer for the third time in his past two tournaments.

2010 Flying L Invitational @ Ft. Lauderdale HS: On Saturday, October 2, Wellington Debate continued the trend set the previous month by earning honors and representing the school honorably at the Flying L Invitational Debate Tournament. Wellington had 22 of the roughly 700 competitors at Ft. Lauderdale High School, and had entries in eight different events. Junior Richard Odle placed third overall in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate, going 3-1 in his first LD competition ever, while freshman Kevin Murphy advanced to the Novice Super Congress chamber - one of only 12 students to advance to the final round. Odle's debate topic dealt philosophically with whether states should possess nuclear weapons.
In Novice Public Forum Debate, Wellington was represented by two novice teams: Dominick DeFazio & Stephi Maravankin, who went 3-1 and placed 9th of 38 teams, and Heather Brown & Alexa Fortuna, who went 2-2. Both squads debated whether NATO's presence in Afghanistan has been beneficial to Afghani citizens.
Other first-year Wellington debaters who had success were the Novice Duo Interpretation team of Danielle Buxbaum & Madi McDole, who performed a 10-minute cutting of "Fiddler on the Roof;" Jazmon Morgan in the poetry/prose event Novice Oral Interpretation; Scott Meskin, who served as Student Congress presiding officer twice, including one unanimous election; and six speeches by senior Dylan Giesler in Student Congress, the most speeches given by a Wellington congressperson at one tournament in more than three years.
In addition, Wellington fielded its first Policy Debate team (John Cassel & Katerina Mangini) since May 2005.
Seven members of the novice class were enrolled in the National Forensic League - DeFazio, Fortuna, Giesler, Maravankin, McDole, Meskin, and Murphy. These students have now earned more than 25 NFL points each, earning the NFL's Degree of Merit.

2010 PBCFL All-Congress @ The King's Academy: Wellington Debate rang in the new competition season with a rock-solid performance at the September 11 All-Congress Tournament, with eleven first-year Wolverines earning recognition and another 14 novice and varsity debaters receiving judge nominations for their mock legislator performances. Three Wellington representatives were honored with first-place titles: Scott Meskin (House A), Madi McDole (House B), and Stephi Maravankin (House G). A second-place plaque was presented to Madison Dalton (House D), while third-place honors were garnered by Kevin Murphy (House A) and Alexa Fortuna (House I). Fifth-place finishes were recorded by Sydney Rogalsky (House F) and Sabrina Abesamis (House H), while Brittany Buxbaum (House B), Jared Munguia (House C) and Juliana Diatezua (House H) earned sixth-place ribbons. In addition, the following students each received at least one judge rank during the congress day: Sasha Jimenez, Conor McPherson, Joe Chiarenza, David Levitt, Zina Hall, Haley Torres, Dylan Giesler, CJ Lewis, Eve Tenenbaum, Jayleen James, Dominick DeFazio, Ryan Kennedy, Darby Guyn, and Nick Thibault. Kennedy earned the first National Forensic League degree of the year for Wellington, surpassing the 150-point NFL Degree of Excellence plateau.