Creek Students Qualify for Speech and Debate Nationals


Nick Rui

The debate qualifiers for original oratory accept their awards after the two day debate national qualifying tournament. “It was truly exhilarating and very surreal,” sophomore Akshita Bisoyi said.

Lianka Pechova, News Writer

Creek had 44 competitors compete in the Speech and Debate National Qualification on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. The competition, which had 200 people competing overall, is made up of the Colorado qualifiers for the national tournament.

In order to qualify for Nationals, competitors had to place either first or second in their category within debate. Junior Alba Wilson-Axpe, who placed first with her partner, senior Griffin Terry, in Public Forum (PF), notes how preparation was necessary to secure their rank.

“We were on FaceTime for like two to four hours every single night that week proceeding, and we wrote all of our cases,” Wilson-Axpe said. “So we really had to put a lot of time and work in and it paid off because we obviously pulled off a win. I definitely wasn’t expecting to qualify first but I wasn’t too shocked just because of how much effort we put into it.”

Although Wilson-Axpe wasn’t as shocked by the win because of the work she and her partner put into preparing, sophomore Akshita Bisoyi notes how the tournament was still stressful for her, especially with this year being her first time competing.

“Throughout the tournament, I was very stressed because genuinely I wasn’t expecting to make it, and a lot of my competition was brilliant,” Bisoyi said. “I was terrified but I put on a mask of confidence so I wouldn’t seem weak compared to my opponents.”

Last year, with COVID, both the national qualification and national tournaments were online. Although both ran smoothly, this year’s in-person one was more enjoyable.

“The students have more fun and the adults have more fun and [there are] fewer zoom headaches,” debate teacher Marti Benham said.

Overall, the National Qualifications Tournament was a success, with 24 people from Creek qualifying for nationals.

“It was truly exhilarating and very surreal,” Bisoyi said. “I’m still not over the shock if I’m being completely honest.”