Four Chesterton debaters headed to national tournament
BY JOHN ROBBINS Post-Tribune correspondent January 27, 2014 11:58AM
Updated: January 27, 2014 9:42PM
Four Chesterton High School debaters will represent their clasmates at the national level.
Partial results of the northeast Indiana district national qualifying competition have Abby Burke, Eric Zhong, Matt Eggers and Salman Lakhani advancing to the National Forensic League national tournament in Overland Park, Kansas, in June.
The regional was held Jan. 24-25 at Penn High School in Mishawaka.
Burke and Zhong will advance in the Lincoln Douglas format; Eggers and Lakhani took top honors in the Public Forum category. A team from Fort Wayne Carroll took the second top spot.
Unusually severe weather led to some northeast district schools to cancel classes last week, said Chesterton Debate Director Chris Lowery, and as a result, some schools could not compete.
Another consequence of the severe weather is that the Policy Debate competition was postponed until Feb. 15. It will be held at Plymouth. Four Chesterton teams will debate against Elkhart Concord High School; the top two teams to advance to the national competition.
If two of the four policy debate teams Chesterton sends to Plymouth secure the top two spots, Chesterton debaters will fill eight of the possible ten northeast district slots in the three events.
“Overall it was a pretty good tournament,” said Lowery of the past weekend. “The entire afternoon was back and forth.”
While the Chesterton debaters did about as well as could be expected, there will be no let-up in their schedule.
Lowery and the debate team will now begin preparing for the Indiana High School Forensic Association state tournament.
It will be held at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis next weekend.
Chesterton has won the state championship tournament outright 22 times and has shared first place twice; that’s 25 titles out of a possible 30 state championship tournaments held since the event started in 1984.
Lowery is looking to add to the string of wins but is going to need as much time as possible during the upcoming week.
“We have a whole different group of kids to prepare against,” said Lowery. “We’re hoping the weather stays good.”