In their first in-person competition in 19 months, the Wellington High School Red Dawn Debaters enjoyed incredible success Saturday, taking home numerous accolades from the September PBCFL Congressional Debate Tournament at Suncoast.
In first-year high school novice competition, Emma Gardner and Emma Segfeldt each placed third in their respective chambers, while three students – Olivia Winton, Patrick McDermott, and Paula Currea – each placed fourth. Taking fifth was Emilia Richards, and another trio of first-year debaters placed sixth: Madison Neltner, Alexandra Versailles, and Colin Capon.
In Varsity Congress, both Samuel Johnson and Ewa Tryniszewski placed first overall, and Hannah Pahl took sixth.In addition, five students earned gavels as their chamber’s top presiding officer – KJ Benham, Colin Gibson, Chelsea Gutierrez, Sofia Lynch, and Shaida Meier.
Wellington has earned six new National Speech & Debate Association memberships and degrees, which are awarded through debate tournament honor points based on congress speech scores, interp and public speaking judge ranks, and debate round decisions. Kayla Cho earned her Degree of Distinction, passing the 250-point mark. Colin Gibson, Lauren Beer, Ewa Tryniszewski, and Luis Gonzales-Mugaburu each passed the 150-point mark and earned the Degree of Excellence. And Justine Galguera surpassed the 25-point plateau, and earned her NSDA Degree of Merit, and her NSDA Honor Association membership.