Heading to Nationals


Hudson Marmon, Reporter

The Forensics squad has made major accomplishments this year with 9 of its 23 students qualifying for state, and 3 of those 9 qualifying for nationals. Despite their success, the Forensics squad receives very little recognition, and very few people realize how much goes into the activity. 

Qualifying for a national competition is quite the feat, and something that takes countless hours of hard work.

“I qualified for nationals in World Schools Debate,” senior Rachel Sum said. “It was a little heart stopping when it happened, I was very confused for a minute before I walked up to that stage,” Sum said. “It was really exciting to shake someone’s hand and get the medal saying that I was a national qualifier.”

Sum explained her love for an event known as Info 10. In this event, competitors present an original 10 minute informative speech, and are allowed the use of visual aids to help explain their topic. 

“It’s my favorite event because it’s wacky, because you can do it about anything. Other events are confined to a topic area, but for Informative, you can have someone come in and talk about quantum physics and the next person can come in and talk about paper clips.” Sum said. “The wackiest thing I’ve talked about was [during] my first year in Info, where I gave a speech over rubber ducks and how they could potentially be harmful to you.”

Junior Amy Linde qualified for nationals in Congressional Debate, and highlighted parts of the event she enjoys. 

“My favorite event is Congressional Debate because students propose pieces of legislation that we get to write and give speeches about,” Linde said. “Things like legalizing marijuana to decriminalizing sex work, things like that I think [are] important to learn about.”

Going to nationals however, doesn’t come without its challenges.

“It’s Senate, so it’s the highest level of a chamber that you can get in,” Linde said. “I have not met any of the people that are going to be at Nationals, so I’m a little bit nervous that I’m going to get my butt chewed out.”  

Additionally, Linde has been met with an entirely new workload in order to prepare for the national competition, which begins June 12.

“I have had this big stack of 60 pieces of paper with different pieces of legislation that I had to rank one through 60, to say what I did and did not want to talk about,” she said. “And then, I have to practice two times a week, with schools like Bishop Miege [and] Olathe East for about one to two hours, and just give speeches.” 

Despite the strenuous amount of work it takes to excel in Forensics, many students still seem to fall in love with the activity. Senior Daniel Robertson, described his favorite part about Forensics.

“You get to choose your own path, I like that. It means you get to develop you, as you want to be,” Robertson said.

Robertson qualified for nationals in International Extemporaneous, and talked about why he loves the event.

“You have 30 minutes to prep, [and] memorize a speech. It’s seven minutes long, and you get to talk about everything from international politics to local news stories,” Robertson said. “It’s my favorite because I get to look at things that most people ignore. Most people don’t know that South Korea just elected a new Prime Minister. That seems important to me, even though it doesn’t seem important to other people, and I get to show that at a tournament.”

As he is a senior, and will not be continuing Forensics in college, Robertson reflected on what aspects of the activity he will miss. 

“I’m going to miss a lot of the moments of getting on that stage, and being recognized in front of a bunch of nerds that I did something cool,” he said. “But other than that, the memories. You go to a tournament and you’re with, probably a good 150 or 200 other kids total, who are doing similar things, but in their own way, and it’s really fun to meet those people.”