Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

In It to Win It

Molly Beck
Debate team members pose together holding their medals. Each of the four juniors contributed to their overall fourth-place finish in state speech. “Every [Ladue student] who competed in speech made the podium,” Bohan Pan (11) said.
Listen to this article

Four members of the Ladue Speech and Debate team competed at the Missouri State Championship for Speech and Debate April 19-20. The competition was hosted at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

Bohan Pan (11) and Eric Fan (11) teamed up for the Public Forum debate event, which they had been state champions in the year before. They were joined on the trip by Arti Jain (11), Sahil Chatwal (11) and their coach Molly Beck. 

“[In Public Forum debate,] there’s two teams, each with two people on them,” Fan said. “You converse and try to convince an audience of judges that your side is right on a specific topic. The goal is to do it in a way that’s accessible to everyone, so you want to use great speaking techniques that are very persuasive.”

One difficulty of the event is that competitors do not know which side they will be taking before the day of the debate.

“The debaters prepare both sides, both the affirmative and the negative,” Pan said. “Then you flip a coin to determine speaker order and also which side you’re debating.”

Last year, the pair won five out of eight preliminary round ballots, and their event in the finals. This year, they made it to the quarter-finals before losing in a 2-1 vote. However, their preliminary rounds were better than ever, winning seven of the eight ballots – better than the previous year.

“We feel we did better overall at this tournament,” Fan said. “Not placement-wise, but performance.”

As juniors, Fan and Pan have the opportunity to build on the improvements they’ve made in the past year and make their team even better. While they were proud of their performance this year, their previous victory motivates them to succeed again.

“[This gives us] more reason to come back stronger next year,” Pan said.

In addition to a successful competition, the group also had time to socialize and explore the university’s campus while in Springfield, Missouri.

I just had a lot of fun during the trip overall,” Pan said. “It was really fun meeting a lot of debaters from different districts or different schools.” 

This tournament was longer than many one-day local tournaments, giving the students a better opportunity to get to know their competitors personally.

“I wasn’t competing at all on Saturday, so I just got to spend the whole day hanging out with my debate friends from my community,” Fan said. “I feel like I really connected with them on a deeper level than I usually have.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sylvia Hanes
Sylvia Hanes, Staff
Sylvia Hanes is a junior at Ladue, and this is her first year on Panorama staff. She has an obsession with temporary tattoos, because she claims they make her look tough.
Donate to Ladue Publications
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Ladue Publications Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *