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The hard work of the Evanston Township High School Speech and Debate team has resulted in new benchmarks for postseason success. “The team has qualified more students to national championships this year than any year in its history,” said Jeff Hannan, ETHS Speech and Debate Team coach.
ETHS sent eight students to the Tournament of Champions, hosted at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The TOC only accepts the top 80-100 entries in each event; elite speech and debate programs across the nation compete all year to build their resume to apply to the TOC. Evanston is sending three Public Forum teams: Honor Allen and Oliver Brady, Izzy Bavis and Gigi Wade, and Sofia Chaudruc and Daisy Chadruc. Joining them will be Allison Grimsted, who qualified in Congressional Debate, and Gabi Senno, who qualified in Original Oratory.
On Memorial Day weekend, ETHS will send eight students to the NCFL Grand National Tournament in Louisville, Ky. Students qualified to NCFL Nationals by finishing in the top 6 entries in the Chicagoland qualifiers. Izzy Bavis and Gigi Wade, as well as Jade Johnson and Yolanda Odufuwa, will represent ETHS in Public Forum debate; on the speech side, Jasper Davidoff (extemporaneous speaking), Lucy Teinowitz (Humorous Interpretation of Literature), Gillian Rosenberg (Oratorical Declamation), and Gabi Senno (Prose and Poetry) earned spots to nationals.
Finally, in June, ETHS will send its largest team ever to the National Speech and Debate Association National Championships. Qualifying to NSDA Nationals requires finishing in the top three at the Northern Illinois district tournament. Honor Allen, Oliver Brady, Sofia Chaudruc, and Daisy Chaudruc will compete in Public Forum Debate; Jasper Davidoff and Nina Kaushikkar will compete in Extemporaneous Speaking; Henry Smith, Gabriel Hull, and Elizabeth Sperti will compete in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and Allison Grimsted, Adam Marquardt, and Gabi Senno will represent Illinois in the World-Style Parliamentary Debate division.
All told, 18 different students from ETHS have qualified for one of the national championship tournaments. “Students from Evanston have produced top five finishes at these tournaments in the past, and we hope to prove once again that ETHS is one of the nation’s strongest programs,” Mr. Hannan added.