At the end of the tournament, one school came out on top: Vermillion High School. The school qualified the team of Amanda Barton and Micaela Telleria in Policy Debate, the team of Maggie Green and Jane Reasoner in Public Forum Debate, and Jiwen Li in International Extemporaneous Speaking. The team's success went beyond those who qualified though. Sophomores Sam Miller and Tyler Gutzman placed fourth in Policy Debate; Seniors Megan Amundson and Mike Feddersen finished fifth in Public Forum debate; Junior Jiwen Li finished third in Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate (but qualifying in International Extemporaneous Speaking); Junior Alicia Enterman finished fifth in LD debate and forth in International Extemporaneous Speaking ; Sophomore Sam Miller finished third in Original Oratory; Senior Amanda Barton finished fourth in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (but qualifying in Policy Debate); Senior Jane Reasoner finished fifth in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (but qualifying in Public Forum Debate). Because of the overall team's success, it captured the Sweepstakes Award, meaning that the team's overall performance was better than any other team in the district.
Head coach Justin Bell said, "The results are really quite amazing. I don't think that anybody could have expected that our team would do so well in nearly every event it entered. At times it seemed like a 'David vs. Goliath' type situation." Although this may be a slight over dramatization, there is a good basis for such a statement. The amount of entries granted to a school for the district tournament is essentially based on the members in a program. As an "A" school, Vermillion is put at a substantial disadvantage based on sheer numbers when competing against "AA" schools. "The tournament resembles a system similar to that in the movie Hoosiers, where all schools, no matter the size, compete against each other. I cannot think of a time where an "A" school has ever won sweepstakes at this tournament." Sioux Falls Lincoln has tended to dominate the tournament throughout the past decade.
Beyond the sweepstakes award, the school qualified a policy team, a public forum team, and an extemper. In policy, the school qualified the seniors Amanda Barton and Micaela Telleria. "I am enormously proud of Amanda and Micaela. It has been over 20 years since Vermillion qualified a policy team to the national tournament. They worked incredibly hard all year, and they deserve a shot at the national tournament."
Additionally, the seniors Maggie Green and Jane Reasoner qualified to the national tournament in Public Forum Debate. Public Forum Debate is a newer form of debate, first offered at in 2002. This is the first time Vermillion has qualified a team in Public Forum Debate. "Maggie and Jane have done extremely well all year in Public Forum. I don't think there were a lot of people surprised when they qualified. They have put in a lot of work are both naturally talented. I am extremely happy for them," said coach Justin Bell.
Additionally, Jiwen Li qualified to the national tournament in International Extemporaneous Speaking. The basis of this event is that a student is given a question and has thirty minutes to prepare a speech. It involves a lot of research to keep up with all the current events throughout the world. Coach Justin Bell said, "Jiwen is simply a remarkable extemper. She had the opportunity to go to the national tournament last year in extemp, but chose to go in LD debate. It is no surprise that she had similar success this year."