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Speech & Debate Ends Season with Astounding 31 Wins

Members of Speech & Debate show off their awards at Districts the weekend of March 23-25.

Speech & Debate ended the 2023 to 2024 season with a spectacular record, securing a total of 31 wins across the board.

“This season has been great, both in terms of the team’s performance and the camaraderie we have built,” junior member Brianna Lange said. “This season we got a lot of new members, [and] it was so rewarding [to] watch them improve. I’m incredibly impressed with all the hard work everyone put in.”

Here’s a recap of the season’s winning results.

Montville Invitational @ Montville

  • Emma Maqsudi and Ryan Davidson, sophomores: First place, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
  • Rohan Gupta, sophomore: Second place, Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Madi Gaydos and Briana Lange, juniors: Third place, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
  • Carolyn He, junior: Fourth place, Informative Speaking
  • Ryan Schorr, junior: Semifinalist, Impromptu Speaking
  • Carolyn He, junior: Semifinalist, Original Oratory

“I was very excited for both Emma and myself as well as the Randolph team,” Davidson said. “I think we did well by dialing in on our performance and focusing on our strengths.”

“Honestly, without me, he would’ve ranked dead last,” Maqsudi joked about her debate partner.

Coast Forensic League (CFL) #2 @ Union High School

  • Aishvi Metha and Shubh Potdar, sophomores: Third place, Junior Varsity Public Forum Debate
  • Brendan Angilello, junior: Sixth place, Congress
  • Joy Rachel, sophomore: Sixth place, Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate

“Everyone was so supportive, as it was my first-time debating,” Metha said. “I’m so grateful for my teammates for teaching me, and honestly owe the win to my partner, Shubh.”

“It was a really good experience,” Potdar said. “I faced a lot of new people, and it was probably my best tournament of the season.”

National Qualifiers

  • Carolyn He, junior: Qualifying, Original Oratory
  • Rohan Gupta, sophomore: First alternate, Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Brendan Angilello, junior: First alternate, Congress

Essex Tech @ Newark Tech High School

  • Rohan Gupta, sophomore: First place, Lincoln Douglas
  • Tanishka Shahoo, sophomore, Second place, Lincoln Douglas
  • Carolyn He, junior: Fourth place, Informative Speaking

“Essex tech had some new faces, but Randolph still dominated,” Gupta said.

New Jersey Speech & Debate League (NJSDL) State Championships @ Hunterdon Central

  • Nex Bortnick, sophomore: First place; tournament champion, Impromptu Speaking
  • Sophia Bonadio and Briana Lange, juniors: Second place, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
  • Carolyn He, junior: Fourth place, Informative Speaking
  • Rohan Gupta, sophomore: Semifinalist, Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Taniska Shahoo, sophomore: Quarterfinalist, Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Emma Maqsudi, sophomore, and Madi Gaydos, junior: Quarterfinalist, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
  • Advisor Katherine Burke: Outstanding Speech & Debate Educator, Section One Winner representing the Northeast and New England
  • Team award: Sixth place, Speech Sweepstakes

“I was pretty shocked honestly, you go from fumbling over yourself in the first tournament and not making semifinals to winning States easily,” Bortnick said. “I’m looking forward to doing it all over again. Impromptu is easily the most fun category, but I’m also looking forward to trying something new again and seeing how it goes.

NJ District Qualifying Tournament @ Delbarton

  • Carolyn He, junior: First alternate, Informative Speaking
  • Fernando Hernandez, junior: First alternate, Big Questions Debate

Advisor Katherine Burke also coaches the World Schools team, a national qualifying team. She was proud to announce this year’s World Schools qualifiers from the high school.

  • Briana Lange, junior: World Schools qualifier, Debate
  • Tanishka Shahoo, sophomore: World Schools Qualifier, Debate
About the Contributor
Jiah Shah
Jiah Shah, Staff Reporter
Jiah Shah is a freshman and a staff reporter for Rampage. She is enrolled in Journalism 1 with Mrs. Finnell. Jiah enjoys writing in her free time and often writes poems to clear her mind. Jiah is enrolled in a few clubs including Key Club, Literature Club, and Literature Magazine. Her other hobbies include playing with her dog, baking, and listening to her grandmother’s stories.
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