Junior leads Speech and Debate team at ASU Southwest Championship

Written by Kajal Dave, Copy Editor

On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Speech and Debate team competed in the ASU Southwest Championship. Members returned from the competition with three winners, including first place winner junior Amanda Johnson.

“I’m very proud of my novices,” president Angela Yang said. “In Novice Lincoln Douglas, Amanda Abdelsamad won sixth place based off of speaker points and then Zane Encinan got 13th. It was a really large tournament so I’m excited about what they did.”

The tournament was one of the largest the team competed in. They hadn’t been expecting to come away as successful as they did.

“I was definitely not expecting it,” Abdelsamed said. “There were so many kids. I met kids from Alaska, Nevada, Utah, California. It was very interesting to see all the ways people affirmed or negated the topic.”

Johnson’s event, Poetry, had about 40 other people competing. At the beginning of the year, Johnson chose her topic, motherhood, and selected five poems about it. She then presented readings at the competition.

“I recognized the other competitors had a lot more experience,” Johnson said. “I didn’t expect to get to semifinals.”

Johnson ended up in the finals. To get there, she went through preliminary rounds of six competitors. Those scores got her to semifinals, which included the top 12 in the event. In finals, the pool was narrowed to six. The victory was certainly unexpected for her.

“I don’t think I really comprehended what had just happened,” Johnson said. “I don’t have any recollection of the moment. I was so shocked I just sort of stood there.”

This isn’t the last competition for the team. Johnson and her teammates will continue working to represent Corona in Speech and Debate.