Speech and Debate Begin 2022 With a Win at Fishers Forensics Festival

CHS Speech and Debate Takes First At Statewide Tournament

Miranda Miller, Co-Editor In Chief

On Saturday, January 8, the Chesterton Speech and Debate team made their way down to Indianapolis to compete at Fishers High School in the Fishers Forensics Festival.  The competition consisted of around 60 schools, with over 700 student entries throughout all of the events.  During overall team sweepstakes, Chesterton took first with a total of 166.5 points, was followed closely by Avon High School (164), and Carmel High School and Cathedral High School, who tied with 92 points.  

The debate team competed outstandingly with having nine entries placed in the top competitors.  By beating entries from Carmel and Munster, these debaters have high hopes for the rest of the season.


5th – senior Trina Gonzalez

Lincoln Douglas Debate:

9th – sophomore Emily Fleischhacker


9th – freshmen Evan Hibshman and Lucas Koch

8th – freshmen Rian Goins and Patrick Hansen 

7th – freshmen Katerina Markwart and Gwen Lester

4th – seniors Mark Jewison and Milena Veltri

3rd – juniors Freedom Eiden and Riley Hawksworth

Public Forum:

5th – seniors Sam Burris and Riste Miroski

3rd – juniors Saanya Agarwal and Zander Fish

“We definitely put ourselves in a position where we can win it all, but Carmel and West Lafayette are in the same position.  We can for sure be in the top 3 (at State),” says head debate coach Chris Lowery. 

With postseason a short three weeks away, the success that the debate team accumulated this weekend provides a positive outlook for the team expectations at the State competition.  

“I would definitely say that I am pleased with Zander and I’s results. 3rd place out of 37 teams is a great accomplishment already. We got to see a lot of new teams, which allowed us to hear a plethora of new arguments before Districts and State. Nevertheless, we still see a lot of work that needs to be done before state,” states public forum debater, Saayna Agarwal, “we need to fix our cases, find more responses, and ameliorate our speaking. I think we have a much better shot at state than last year as long as we keep working,” Agarwal adds, after her and her partner’s incredible third place finish at the tournament.  

Like debate, speech was incredibly successful with having 16 entries in the top twelve competitors.  


2nd – junior Gigi Hanner

1st – junior Jackson Dudek


Semi – senior Miranda Miller

6th – senior Natalie Nunez


Semi – senior Hannah Anders

6th – junior Josh Hoover

5th – freshman Elsa Leady


1st – senior Dylan Leavitt

Original Oratory: 

Semi – freshman Carmen Thomas

5th – Natalie Nunez

Original Performance:

3rd – Jackson Dudek and Josh Hoover

1st – sophomore Katie Asbury


6th – Miranda Miller

Programmed Oral Interpretation:

1st – Dylan Leavitt


Semi – Elsa Leady

5th – Carmen Thomas

“I [personally as an individual, felt very good over this past weekend as far as my own performances went. And in regards to the team, I’m incredibly proud as always. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we were able to win sweepstakes. There is never a day where I am let down. Everyone, from the novices to the seniors, puts in their best effort to excel, and excel they do,” shares double champion Dylan Leavitt on her personal and team performance. 

The speech team had outstanding success, however, they have much to work on seeing as their biggest competition, Munster High School and Plymouth High School, were not present at this tournament.  

To continue their season, on Saturday, January 15, the speech team will travel to Warsaw to compete in their invitational.  That same day, the debate team will compete virtually at Chesterton in the Chesterton Virtual Debate Tournament.