Forensics members qualify for nationals

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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After months of preparation, hard work and a disappointing tournament earlier in the week, six Manhattan High forensics students have qualified for nationals.

The road to nationals has not been a easy one. The forensics team’s week began with a Public Forum Debate national qualifying tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, which proved to be a challenge. At the event, the teams of sophomores Megan Keenan and Alison Payne, as well as Trinity Brockman and Will Bannister, were both one ballot away from qualifying. They placed fourth and fifth respectively.

“Making sure that we are as credible as possible would have been the best so that we could have won that ballot and qualified for nationals,” Brockman said.

The loss was disheartening for the team, especially after freshmen Crysteen Brown and Eadon Marstall gave up their spot in the tournament so that two more experienced competitors, Brockman and Bannister, could continue to compete.

“Me and Eadon, we were happy with it because we were still the only freshmen that made it to the second day,” Brown said.

Despite the fact that no one qualified for nationals at the PFD tournament, the team tried to remain positive, looking towards Saturday’s IE Qual Tournament at Silver Lake. Everyone worked together to prepare the individuals going to compete.

“People like me who aren’t going to the tournament, we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that they can have everything that they need,” Brown said.

Their PFD defeats earlier in the week may have been disheartening, but the team pulled through with a total of six team members qualifying for nationals at the Silver Lake tournament in their individual events.

Senior Lily Colburn qualified in Informative Speaking, senior John Domingo qualified in Program of Oral Interpretation, senior Martina Hernandez and junior Jacob Wineland qualified in Duo and Bannister and Brockman qualified in World Schools.

These qualifications are a victory for the Manhattan High team, who will now be helping those who are qualified prepare for their next competition.

“I think it’s just, when it comes to preparing, just making sure that we know our pieces, and just going there with confidence and doing our best,” Brockman said.

The six qualifiers will be competing this summer in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and until then, the team will be turning their attention towards preparing for their mid-May state competition.

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