Debate succeeds as district national qualifiers

Meredith Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

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Debate is continuing on in their competition season, spending the weekend competing at the Flint Hills District National Qualifier. The double-elimination tournament pitted 32 competitors against each other, leaving one first-year Manhattan High team — sophomore Jonathan Stanger and junior Dominykas Metlevski — in the upper half of the competition.

“Very cool to see,” head coach Mac Phrommany said. “It’s a little unexpected because this is a national qualifying tournament. This a top notch competition. [Stanger and  Metlevski’s] debates caught everyone off guard and really kind of solidified a place in the eyes of the coaches.”

As debates ran past midnight and began early the next morning, the MHS competitors were forced to work through sleep deprivation in order to secure their qualifying place.

According to Stanger, while the pair did well in the first round, first-run jitters and fatigue shook the two up a bit, causing a lost round. As the second round approached, the pair quickly took recognition in the competition again, running a new affirmative case from Metlevski, despite losing to a pair of experienced debate seniors.

“[Considering] the experience on both sides, I feel like we did extremely well,” Stanger said. “We put up a good fight even though we ended up losing, which I didn’t feel too bad for because we got to go home and sleep.”

While the loss for the team is a new development in the season Manhattan High Debate has been playing, the team is focusing on improving their skills and taking back to competition next weekend at the Regional 4-Speaker Debate on Friday and Saturday.

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