BROOKINGS – The Brookings High School Speech and Debate team finished its competitive season in style placing two students in the top five and earning a team award at the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament June 18-22 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Dhwani Kharel placed fourth out of 229 competitors in Lincoln Douglas debate, while Mariyom Deng earned fifth of more than 200 in storytelling. Brookings was named a school of honor for placing in the top 40 schools in the nation.
Students qualified for the national contest at a district tournament held in Brookings in February.
This year marked the 55th time BHS students have attended the national contest, qualifying a record 14 students.
Representing Brookings were Dhwani Kharel in Lincoln Douglas debate, Kia Witt and Marina Du in policy debate, Aine Crinion and Kyle Sorbe in public forum debate, Grayson Smith in world schools debate, Kashfia Rahman in original oratory, Rachel Smart and Mariyom Deng in dramatic interp, Angela Lansang in program oral interp, and Isla and George Roy and Lily Palo and Rachel Regalado in duet interp.
The national tournament success came on the heels of a second-place team finish at the SDHSAA State Debate Tournament in March.
Dhwani Kharel won the AA state championship in Lincoln Douglas debate, while Kia Witt and Marina Du were runners up in policy debate. Also placing were Ethan Anderson and Daniel Messerli, quarter finalists in public forum debate; and Carissa Witt and Joseph Park, quarter finalists in policy debate.
The BHS speech and debate students are coached by debate coaches Sally Pies, Kendrick Walton and Judy Kroll; and interp coaches Carrie Oorlog and Alyssa Laufmann.
Courtesy photo: Representing Brookings High School at the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament were, back row, from left: Aine Crinion, Kia Witt, Mariyom Deng, Kyle Sorbe, Dhwani Kharel, Marina Du, Grayson Smith and George Roy, front row: Rachel Smart, Isla Roy, Kashfia Rahman, Rachel Regalado, Angela Lansang and Lily Palo.