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Debate Dominates National Qualifier

It was a weekend of absolute dominance by the Columbus debate team at the national qualifier held at Miami Beach High School. The tournament offered three events, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Policy Debate. The Columbus Debate team won all three divisions without dropping a single ballot! The team qualified seven students to the national tournament in Salt Lake City in June and won the coveted district sweepstakes award.
Leading the way for the Explorers, the team of Noah Lopez and Joseph Arocha were the top qualifiers in Public Forum after seven rounds of competition. Along the way they defeated teams from Ransom, Miami Beach, La Salle, and Michael Krop High School.
In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Javier Navarrete and Angel Toro both qualified after five rounds of competition. Javier was the top seed, making him the regional champion. Our district only qualifies two debaters per event, so Columbus closed out the Lincoln-Douglas division entirely.
In policy debate, the team of sophomores Brian Izquierdo and Jonathan Manrique qualified as the top seed. This marks the first time Columbus qualifies a policy debate team to the national tournament since 2006.
Two weeks ago, we also had junior Thomas Barrera qualifying to the national tournament in two events at the speech qualifier. Tommy qualified in both Program Oral Interp and his main event, Dramatic Interpretation.
The team has a couple of weeks off (finally) before the novices compete at the novice state championship at Wellington High School April 15 & 16th.
Congratulations to the team and Mr. Martinez. Thanks also to Mr. Martinez for supplying the results for this article.

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