Mountain Crest High School student, Samantha Watrin, ranked top five in the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in the Congressional Debate Senate event.
LOGAN—Mountain Crest High School student, Samantha Watrin, ranked top five in the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in the Congressional Debate Senate event.
“We’re super proud of her,” MCHS Debate Team Coach Karlie Jordan said.
Watrin was the only student from MCHS to compete in person in Louisville, Ky. and was among over 6,000 competitors from across the nation.
The National Speech and Debate Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world to debate current events, voice student views, and share student stories.
To qualify for the tournament, students go through months of preparation and a rigorous qualifying tournament. Students that compete in the Congressional Debate Division and placed in first or second place in the qualifying tournament, were then placed in the Senate bracket.
According to Jordan, the Congressional Debate is one of the most intense events and is divided into two brackets: The House and The Senate. The more experienced individuals were placed in the Senate while the newer students were placed in the House.
According to Jordan, Watrin competed in two rounds a day and each round was about four to six hours.
“Out of all of the events in debate, Congress is probably one of the most intense just because of the sheer number of people you’re competing against,” Jordan said. “All of these events are intense in different ways but this one has the most number of competitors in one room.”
Watrin said that even though the tournament was very competitive, she enjoyed being at the tournament and meeting kids who had put in a lot of work like herself.
“I definitely feel really good that the work that I put in paid off,” Watrin said.
The road to nationals was not easy. Jordan said the MCHS Debate Team suffered an upset in the state competition.
“There were some students that were broken-hearted,” Jordan said. “It was nothing that they did wrong. It was just differences in coaching, differences in coaching styles, differences in training judges.”
Jordan said the team members supported each other and helped each other as they prepared for the competition in their divisions.
“They’re all really, really good teammates for each other,” Jordan said. “They’re very supportive. They’re kind. We do have a very accepting team.”
Watrin said she was sad after state but her love of debate kept her going.
“I love debate,” Watrin said. “It’s something that I actually really enjoy doing and so that kind of gave me the strength to keep writing.”