Vermillion High School debate team completes successful season with 2007 state championship

Vermillion High School debate team completes successful season with 2007 state championship
Completing the most successful season in recent history, the Vermillion High School debate team won the 2007 South Dakota Class �A� State Debate and Individual Event Championship at the state tournament held in Yankton on March 5. In addition to the team championship, the Vermillion squad won state championships in four of the six events offered at the state tournament.

For the fourth season in a row, VHS closed out the finals, winning both first and second place in Policy Debate. The partnership of senior Hannah Pommersheim and junior Amanda Barton took home first-place honors – the second State Championship in Policy Debate for Pommersheim. Bringing home Runner-Up honors was the sibling partnership of senior Nahuel Telleria and junior Micaela Telleria.

Sophomore Jiwen Li continued her dominate end-of-the-season performance as she won the State Championship in Lincoln-Douglass Debate. Jiwen collected 13 of 14 judges� ballots. VHS also won state titles in two of the three individual events offered at the State Tournament. Senior Hannah Pommersheim took home the championship trophy in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking and senior Nahuel Telleria won Original Oratory.


In addition to the state championships, other honors won by VHS students include junior Maggie Green, finalist in Original Oratory; Green and junior Jane Reasoner, semi-finalists in Public Forum Debate; sophomore Alicia Enterman, quarter-finalist in Lincoln-Douglass Debate; Enterman, third place Foreign Extemp Speaking; Li, second place Foreign Extemp Speaking; junior Amanda Barton, second place Domestic Extemp Speaking.

In addition to their success at the state tournament, the VHS squad had a successful weekend on Feb. 23-24 at the national qualifying speech and debate tournament held at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls. Two members of VHS squad qualified for the 2007 National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held June 17-22 in Wichita, KS. VHS Senior Hannah Pommersheim qualified for the National Tournament in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Hannah�s qualification extends the recent success VHS has had in Domestic Extemp as VHS alumna Molly Green qualified for nationals last season in the same event. Sophomore Jiwen Li qualified for the National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglass Debate. Jiwen was the last undefeated competitor and defeated older debaters from SF Lincoln and Yankton, among others. Hannah has had an outstanding forensics career, earning first alternate status last year at the National Qualifying Tournament. This is Jiwen�s first year competing in Lincoln-Douglass Debate and, given the success she has achieved so early in her career, has been turning heads in the activity.

The VHS team is coached by third-year law student Paul Tschetter. Tschetter is assisted by second-year law student Justin Bell. Bell is expected to take the reins for the 2007-2008 season.

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