Debate heads into state with season wins

Meredith Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

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The halls of Manhattan High stood alert and alive late Monday morning. The buzz from the classrooms peeked out of wooden doors in the fluorescent hallways, and E hall stood so still that a single footstep was thunderous, quieting when reaching a large wooden door desperately attempting to contain the racket within.

Upon opening the door, another world of chaos, competitiveness and spirit rushed about. On the whiteboard in large, orange letters behind junior Trinity Brockman — who was in the middle of preparing assignments above debate-room jabber — stood the line “a bad team makes cheap arguments.” Never have six words so perfectly described the competitive edge of the MHS Debate team and their recent wins that are a must-watch of the debate season.

Friday and Saturday of last week, the debate team competed at Maize High School where, after preliminary rounds, Manhattan took all top three positions in the Kansas Debate Classic Division. Between the MHS teams, only one round had been lost.

Pairs Ivy Auletti and Peyton Woods, juniors, took sixth place while Brockman and partner Sam Delong, freshmen, ended the tournament undefeated and in second place. Partnership Megan Keenan, junior, and Alison Payne, junior — who have consistently been on the top of the season’s watch list — ended the tournament undefeated, securing the win for Manhattan High.

“It helped us secure our winning record for state,” Keenan said. “It was a fun tournament, we got to see [former coach Kristal Kleiner] and it was also interesting because I’ve gone to this tournament freshman and sophomore year as well and I’ve just been doing progressively better at it.”

The team also attended the Hayden tournament on Saturday, where the team finished third overall as partnership Kay Jay Jones and Crysteen Brown, sophomores, completed their qualification for the January State Tournament in Garden City.

These wins, however, mark the end of the regular season for some time, as debate goes full throttle into their four-speaker qualifiers this weekend.

“I don’t really have concerns,” Brockman said. “We’ll see how [qualifiers] go.”


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