By AKUL GUPTA
California High School Speech Association State Qualifiers took place at two regional high schools in March. On March 3, Los Osos High School held Debate State Qualifiers, and on March 10, Carter High School held Speech State Qualifiers. The top placing students in each event at these tournaments move on to CHSSA State Championships occurring in April. After state competition, National Qualifiers will transpire to determine who goes on to CHSSA National Championships.
Following CHSSA State Qualifiers, Redlands East Valley Debate Captain, Ian Finley, shared this position, “State is one of the main goals we have for our season, and we prepare all year for a chance to qualify. It takes students like us from high schools all over California and lets us compete in our events—whether they be speech or debate. Going to state is so much about the team you go with because speech and debate is all about the people you are able to do it with.” His statement is a shared sentiment of the Redlands East Valley Speech and Debate Team concerning their preparation for CHSSA State Championships and beyond.
Four Redlands East Valley students earned their spot at CHSSA State Championships in April. The Parliamentary debate team of Ian Finley and Duncan Glover won 4th place at Debate State Qualifiers. On March 10, multiple students from Redlands East Valley qualified. Lea Mulan Clark qualified in both Theatrical Interpretation and Expository, Maha Quadri in Oratorical Interpretation and Ian Finley in International Extemporaneous. Since the students can only choose one event, Finley and Glover have opted to participate in Parliamentary at State, Clark chose Expository and Quadri decided to compete in Oratorical Interpretation.
Lea Mulan Clark, Redlands East Valley High School Speech Captain, commented, “I’ve never seen any other type of competition where you can just talk to complete strangers and become friends in 5 minutes. It’s amazing to be around people who are just so smart and kind to each other. Overall, it’s pretty great to be a part of a team that competitively talks.” She proceeded to succeed in both her events and is moving on to CHSSA State Championships.
After CHSSA State Championships, the Redlands East Valley Speech and Debate team will begin preparing for CHSSA National Qualifiers in May. This will establish who moves on to CHSSA Nationals where the best high school speech and debaters in the country will face off to determine who is number one in each event.