Irvington Speech competes at Berkeley Invitational Tournament

Radhika Munshani, News Editor

Irvington Speech competed at the annual Berkeley Speech and Debate Invitational over the long weekend of Feb. 18 to 20, 2016. The tournament, which was hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, saw speech competitors from all over the nation converge for three days  to verbally spar over current events. Competitors were able to enter in four categories: Policy, Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Congressional Debate. Students had been preparing all year for their events with practice sessions.

Irvington speakers were placed in almost all the events in the highly competitive tournament.  Sophomore Mehaa Mekala, freshman Roshni Sudharsan, junior Ankita Kini, and junior Riya Kataria were Quarterfinalists in “Dramatic Interpretation,”, “Original Oratory”, “Impromptu,” and “Humorous Interpretation”, respectively. Senior Michelle Huang nd junior Suki Singh placed sixth in “Extemporaneous Speaking” and in “Dramatic Interpretation”, respectively.

“It was really competitive,” junior Riya Kataria said. “You could tell people knew what they were doing. There were also a huge amount of people there and the whole thing was just intimidating at first in general.”

These results are even more impressive given the slew of illnesses the speech members faced in advance of the tournament.

“We had a few kids who had to drop because there’s that flu going around and a few kids were sick or injured during the tournament,” Speech Captain Michelle Huang said, “but they still managed to pull through.”

The tournament saw the overcoming of obstacles to reach lofty goals on the part of Irvington competitors. Irvington Speech now looks forward to advancing to state and national qualifiers.

“We’ve been practicing a lot,” Kataria said, “and if we keep practicing as hard as we did for Berkeley, then we can make it to the actual State and National tournaments.”