By Kenna McMurray
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley Forensics Team made an amazing, but not unexpected, comeback at a Nationals Qualifying tournament held April 18-20. The team had eight people advance to the final round, with runners-up in many events and three competitors qualifying to attend the National Tournament held this year in Indianapolis.
The Nationals are considered the most competitive and prestigious tournament of the season, the pinnacle of the hard work that competitors have invested since last April.
Last week’s tournament was run on a double elimination bracket. Competitors placing first through third in a preliminary round receive an “up”, but any competitors placing lower than third receive a “down.” If competitors receive two “downs” they are eliminated from the tournament.
Hundreds of competitors arrived on Thursday. But by Friday the number of competitors had drastically shrunk. On Saturday the competitors again went through a grueling series of rounds, competing again and again. Tensions were high at such a high stakes tournament. The competitors suffered from lack of sleep, sensory overload, and anxiety, but still performed to their fullest ability.
MVHS Freshman Nephi Boren made it to finals in Humorous Interpretation, an impressive feat for a first year competitor.
Alyssa Zerkle, a senior, went to finals in Dramatic Interpretation with her script, The Christmas Shoes.
Seniors Jacob Allum and John Rockenbach proceeded to finals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking.
Seniors Ricky Glaubitz and and Tucker Abbott also advanced to finals in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, with Tucker qualifying for Nationals and Ricky as the runner-up.
The Public Forum team of John Rockenbach and Ricky Glaubitz qualified for Nationals in their event, beating out numerous competitors.
This tournament marked the last competition for many seniors who have spent much of their high school career participating in speech and debate. Moapa Valley will be graduating a large number of seniors who will be sorely missed by the team.
“I am so excited to have one last tournament to attend and round off my senior year,” said Rockenbach. “I have had so much fun, and learned so much, in Forensics. I am glad to be part of a great team full of great people.”
There will be one more tournament next Saturday for National Qualifiers in Congress debate. This tournament will be the last Clark County tournament of the school year. But many competitors hope to attend one last tournament in Indianapolis this June.