LPS students excel at state debate contest

Students from five Lincoln Public Schools debate teams formed winning arguments at the Nebraska Speech Communication and Theatre Association (NSCTA) state championships.

Southwest High School hosted debate presenters from across the state March 22-23. High school students from Lincoln High, East, North Star, Southeast and Southwest took part in the event.

Debate students could reach several stages as they advanced through the contest. The octofinals represented the elimination round between the top 16 debaters in a tournament, and the quarterfinals marked the elimination round between the top eight debaters. Students who reached the semifinals earned spots in the top four places of the tournament.

Judges awarded speaker points to students for constructing and presenting their arguments effectively on stage. Debaters with the largest number of speaker points in a state category received a Speaker Award. This was calculated independently of the debater’s overall won-loss record at the tournament.

Students took part in policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, public forum debate and congressional debate categories. East had 26 students who competed in 18 events and Southwest had 18 students in 14 events. Ten Southeast students took part in nine events, North Star had three students in two events and Lincoln High had two students in two events.

East claimed the team championship after the final stages of the two-day tournament. Southwest captured third place and Southeast collected fourth place.

East’s Elaine Suh and Sarah Cai were state champions in the policy debate category, and East’s Benjamin Hoover pocketed a state title in Lincoln-Douglas debate. East’s Yakub Islamov and Christina Xu posted a state championship in public forum debate.

The following are LPS medal-winning results from the tournament:

State Policy Debate Results

Speaker Awards

1) Sarah Cai – Lincoln East, 2) Elaine Yu – Lincoln East, 3) Emma Yin – Lincoln East, 4) Elaine Suh – Lincoln East


Champion: Elaine Suh and Sarah Cai – Lincoln East

Semifinalists: Cheryl Zeng and Jeff Shen – Lincoln East, Elaine Yu and Emma Yin – Lincoln East

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Results

Speaker Awards

2) Jeremy Moussoli – Lincoln East, 3) Hudson Witte – Lincoln Southeast, 4) Benjamin Hoover – Lincoln East, 5) Corban Barnacle – Lincoln North Star


Champion: Benjamin Hoover – Lincoln East

Quarterfinalists: Jeremy Moussoli – Lincoln East, Hudson Witte – Lincoln Southeast, Corban Barnacle – Lincoln North Star

Octofinalists: Krithik Pondicherry – Lincoln East, Noah Hoover – Lincoln East

Public Forum Debate Results

Speaker Awards

1) Yakub Islamov – Lincoln East, 2) Christina Xu – Lincoln East, 4) Ronav Ganesh – Lincoln East, 5) Isabel Loriaux – Lincoln Southwest, 6) Kai Sasaki – Lincoln Southwest


Champion: Yakub Islamov and Christina Xu – Lincoln East

Semifinalists: Isabel Loriaux and Carly Wieseler – Lincoln Southwest, Kyzz Azucena and Kai Sasaki – Lincoln Southwest

Quarterfinalists: Sukruth Jangala and Shriish Sathish – Lincoln East, Arnav Agarwal and Ronav Ganesh – Lincoln East

Congressional Debate Results

Top Presiding Officer: Grant Jungers – Lincoln Southwest

Super Congress Finalists: Kashish Nangia – Lincoln East, Sara Bilew – Lincoln High, Elizabeth Falcone – Lincoln Southwest, Alex Hamric – Lincoln East, Emerson Trompke – Lincoln East, Jack Watermolen – Lincoln Southwest, Henry Cline – Lincoln Southwest


2) Lexi Velgersdyk – Lincoln Southeast, 4) Grant Jungers – Lincoln Southwest, 6) Spencer Krenk – Lincoln Southwest, 7) Rawan Al-Ajeel – Lincoln Southwest, 8) Andrea Hu – Lincoln East

Published: March 26, 2024, Updated: March 26, 2024

Members of the East High School debate team smile after winning the state championship. Students from five LPS high schools took part in state activities March 22-23 at Southwest High School.