Speech and Debate team qualifies for 2023 nationals

The West High Speech and Debate team will be competing at nationals June 11-16.


Photo courtesy of John Cooper

The West High Speech and Debate team poses with their awards at the East Iowa Districts tournament.

Jane Lam, Print Assistant Copy Editor

As pandemic regulations are lifted, the speech and debate scene has greatly shifted. Despite a transition from online to in-person tournaments, many members of the West High Speech and Debate team qualified at the East Iowa district tournament Feb. 10-11. The top two entries from each event qualify to nationals.

Eight members qualified from the West High’s Speech & Debate team to compete at the national level in Phoenix, Arizona June 11-16, among more than 6,000 middle and high school students across the country.  Finnley Bonfig ‘26 championed to qualify in House, a Congressional Debate event. Waad Dafalla ‘26 and Catherine Yang ‘23 placed first and second in International Extemp, respectively. Samir Singh ‘24 and Pranjal Paudel ‘24 qualified in the Policy debate with a first-place finish. Spencer Thomas ‘24 and Flora Zhu ‘25 earned first and second in Lincoln Douglas Debate, respectively. Catherine Yang ‘23 and Alice Doresca ‘23 also championed in Public Forum Debate. 

Five speech and debate members from West High will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to compete. Kamakshee Kuchhal ’24  and Jane Lam ’24 will be competing in Policy Debate. Finnley Bonfig ’26 and Waad Dafalla ’26 will be competing in Congressional Debate and International Extemp, respectively. Spencer Thomas will be competing in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Results will be available on Tabroom.