12 heading to speech, debate nationals

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Central High Schoo coach Anthony Bichler, fourth from right, said the school is sending a record number of competitors to the National Forensic Leagues national tournament in Dallas June 13-18: from left, Logan Emmert, Brian Williams, David Cochran, Sam Walker, Britny Humphreys, Deanna Wright and Adam Mackley. Three students from Grand Junction High School and two from Fruita Monument High School also plan to attend the tournament.

A dozen students from School District 51 will compete in the National Forensic Leagues national tournament June 13–18 in Dallas.

Central High School qualified the most local students for the national tournament. The school will send seven students to the tournament: seniors Logan Emmert, Britny Humphreys, Adam Mackley, Sam Walker and Brian Williams; junior David Cochran; and sophomore Deanna Wright.

Grand Junction High School will send sophomores Anna Exby-Humor, Ellie Gossage and Tsinni Russell to the competition, and Fruita Monument High School will send juniors Elizabeth Connor and Avivah Hotimsky.

Seven qualifiers is a record for Central High School, according to team coach Anthony Bichler.

“Our previous high was five in 2005, so seven is amazing,” he said.

The national tournament brings together the top 3 percent of high school speech and debate competitors. That can pile on the pressure for some students, but others find it an exciting challenge.

“Instead of hundreds of competitors, you have thousands,” Cochran said. “I think it would be awesome to be the first national winners from Central and have our names go down in history.”

Students from five Colorado districts will attend the national tournament. The local students going to nationals qualified in the Western Slope district to represent Colorado at the tournament in Dallas.


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