Debate opens season at Washburn Rural

McKayla Clark Snodgrass, Page Editor

The Manhattan High debate team opened their season at Washburn Rural after a year of competing online on Saturday. 

Sophomores Allina Dougherty and Jordyn West went 2-4 in the Open Division. This is Dougherty’s first year competing in person, which comes with many adjustments.

“When we were online, I could just mute myself and talk to my partner about what strategy we’re [going to] use,” Dougherty said. “But now I’m in the same room as my fellow competitors and have to think about how they can hear me.”

The changes also impacted how students, such as Dougherty, presented their information.

“They used to only be able to see my upper torso and my head,” Dougherty said, “but now I’m standing there and I have to be aware of my posture and where my hands are.”

Freshmen Patrick Fu and Kylie Kim went 3-2 in the Novice Division. Senior Emmett Spaw and sophomore Aylani Barron placed fifth overall. Spaw was recognized as the seventh best speaker.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Barron said. “It was a great learning experience and my partner Emmett did a really good job of explaining things.”

Freshman Mian Zhao and sophomore Allie Cloyd placed eighth overall. Freshman Lane Burgett and sophomoreJack McCornack went 2-3 in the Novice Division.

“At first, I was kind of low, I didn’t think I was [going to] do that great or thought I was [going to] forget things or not know how to do things,” Burgett said. “But I guess over time, it started to structure itself.”

Senior Sam DeLong and junior Anarchy Jung were octo-finalists in the Varsity Division and attained one of four necessary bids to qualify to the State level Debate Coaches Invitational.

Freshmen Ethan Xin and Markus Hoehn went 3-2 in the Novice Division.

“I definitely want to get a speaker award,” Xin said. “That’s something I’d be very proud of and then also, hopefully, a team award because I’m also trying to use debate as a time to sort of work together with new people.”

Debate will meet next this upcoming weekend at Emporia.