LOHS Speech & Debate Goes to State


The Speech and debate team participated at the 2016 OSAA / U.S. Bank / Les Schwab Tires Speech State Championships held on Thursday April 21 through Saturday April 23. The competition took place at Western Oregon University with more than 40 students representing 64 different schools from all over the state at the speech state championship. Two members from the team were finalist, senior Radhika Subrahmanyan was a finalis in congressional debate and senior Anna Kulawiec a finalist in poetry reading.

“A major challenge for me is balancing expectation with enjoyment. Especially at state, I hope to do well, but it’s dangerous to get into a deserving mindset, as if success is owed to you. My events are extremely subjective, and in each round there’s the chance that a judge will dislike my piece. Thus, that’s where the enjoyment comes in. No matter what a judge may think, I have to enjoy my pieces if I’m to have a chance at success. So finding that balance between expectation and enjoyment is tricky but incredibly important,” said finalist senior Kulawiec.

Junior Sarah Kwartler was a semifinalist in impromptu and humorous interpretation and as a team her and junior SaraJane Griffiths were semifinalists in parliamentary debate. Senior Jason O’Brien was a semifinalist in congressional debate and junior Isabelle Cullen with junior Morgan Lloyd were semifinalists in dual interpretation. Junior Marcus Avery in a team with senior Dan Tudorica were quarter finalists in Policy Debate and sophomore Jadon Schmitt with sophomore Jonathan Meinhardt  and junior Jackson Dyal with junior Kyle Padgett were octa finalists in parliamentary debate.

“State went well. There were lots of students who were really close to making it to semi-final rounds,” said Robyn Rose, the speech and debate coach.

Overall the team did really well at the state competition, placing 7th as a team in sweepstakes points. The team had two finalists at the state competition and many members made it to the semifinals. The hard work the team put in paid off even with the challenges they may have faced on the way.

“I feel like, as a team, we did strongly. I’m incredibly proud of everyone’s efforts. The team is full of such hard-working and intelligent individuals, and it’s been amazing to have seen the camaraderie and growth in everyone. Personally, I’m proud of how I did. State is always full of incredibly fierce competition and simply making it to finals is extremely humbling. Hearing I was a finalist was a bit like having a weight lifted off my chest. After waiting so long to hear results, it was a relief to know I’d made it,” said Kulawiec.