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Lightridge News

The student produced news site for Lightridge High School

Lightridge News

Lightridge News

 Katie Nutt, LeAnne Howard, Torrey E. Taussig talk to local high school students at the NATO focused  Black Professionals in International Affairs event.  Photo courtesy of the Black Professionals in International Affairs.
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Sophomore pitcher Dylan Herr fires from the mound.
Baseball improves over last season
Aidan Ryan, Staff Writer • June 7, 2024

Three debate captains make it to the national tournament

Kelsey Bass
Senior and Congressional Debate captain Nardos Mengesha made it to the semi-final round at Nationals.

Three debate captains represented Lightridge High School at the National Catholic Forensic League Tournament. The 2024 NCFL Grand National Tournament was held in Chicago, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend. For a captain from each category to qualify for Nationals is rare and a first time feat for Lightridge High School.
The tournament’s events are split up by category. The categories include interpretation and speech, debate, and student congress. As the debate season begins, those who are new to debate are taught how to select arguments and recite speeches by the captains. Each captain helps make a curriculum to teach the mastery of debate.
The tournament was divided into three days from Friday, May 24th to Sunday, May 26th. Registration took place on Friday, while the competitions took place on Saturday. Finally, on Sunday evening, an awards ceremony was held for all events.
Nardos Mengesha, a senior and the captain of the congressional debate team, attended nationals last year and qualified again this year. Mengesha prepared herself for the upcoming tournament by writing her own speeches and reciting them.
“I do want to beat what I did this year, like my own personal record,” said Mengesha.
While determination and preparation is what brought Lightridge here, tournaments can be unpredictable.
“You can’t prepare for everything that is going to happen in there,” commented Mengesha.
Advika Sampathkumar, a senior on the debate team, attended the national tournament as Lightridge’s captain of the speech team. Sampathkumar has been in debate for all four years of high school. Her interest in debate started with admiration for her sister who also participated in debate. Sampathkumar gives high regards to her experience in debate, as the hobby helped her gain confidence.
“Going into speech helped me realize I do have a voice,” said Sampathkumar.
Panchami Rangaraju attended the tournament as Lightridge’s Lincoln-Douglas debate captain. Rangaraju is a sophomore at Lightridge and has been in debate since her freshman year. Rangaraju describes her process of preparation as researching the given topic that was released for the LD debate. Rangaraju was inspired to join the debate team by her older brother who had formerly participated in debate during his high school years. She grew up learning the processes of the debate rounds and the topics discussed, however developed a true passion for it on her own. Rangaraju was proud to be invited to the 2024 Nationals tournament.
“It feels like everything I worked for yielded results for me,” said Rangaraju.
Lightridge’s debate captains arrived in Chicago on May 23rd. All competitions were held Saturday, May 25th. Mengesha made it to the semi-final round in the competition, missing advancement by only a few points.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Hong
Jenna Hong, Reporter
Jenna is a Junior at Lightridge. This is her first year as a member of the Lightridge News staff.

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