Four Milbank High School debaters competed in the National Speech and Debate tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rebekah Tuchscherer, who qualified at the district tournament in February, competed in Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate with over 250 opponents and just four from South Dakota.
“Competitors needed to win eight of their 12 preliminary round ballots to advance,” explained MHS debate coach Natasha Hartman. “Although Rebekah had some strong rounds, she did not make it to the elimination round.”
The Northern South Dakota District sent a team in World Schools Debate (WSD) for the first time this year. Representing the district were Brianna Schreurs, Connor Lightfield, Macie Redmond, and two Brookings High School students. “They did exceptionally well for their first time and going up against both national and international teams who have experience in WSD,” said Hartman. “The team went three and three, just one win short of advancing to the next set of rounds.”
When they were eliminated from their main event competition, MHS students competed in supplementary events, also new to them. Lightfield explored extemporaneous debate, a combination of his usual extemp speaking and LD debate. After the sides and resolution for the debate were announced, students had 30 minutes to prepare for the debate round. Winning his first two rounds, Lightfield advanced to elimination rounds and competed through round four.
Schreurs and Redmond chose expository speaking. They presented a five-minute written speech that was memorized. Brianna shared the potential of psycho-cybernetics, and Macie stressed the importance of both sides of a story by emphasizing the good side of Sea World. Schreurs advanced to round three.
The last two days of the tournament were filled with the final events competition at the Salt Palace Convention Center. “We watched the finals, saw some of the Salt Lake City sites and enjoyed the beauty and adventure of the Wasatch Mountains,” Hartman said.