IHS Speech & Debate Club Wins IVC Fall Classic Championships

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Irvine High School (IHS) Speech and Debate club won the Irvine Valley College (IVC) Fall Classic Championships, taking home seven individual and team awards, on Oct. 10.

Co-president and junior Vishnu Manathattai received second place in the Public Forum category and a first place team award alongside co-president and junior Pranav Sankar, who also placed ninth in Public Forum. Junior and secretary Sami Khan received fourth place in Public Forum, and junior and treasurer Kelvin Zhao placed first. Together, they received the Public Forum second place team award. Sophomore Alana Zhao received designation as second place speaker in the Lincoln Douglas category. 

“At the tournament, we were able to see many students across Irvine that had tremendous amounts of skill and talent,” Khan said. “Although our hard work did pay off in the end, we did not expect the whole team to get prestigious awards. The judges did a wonderful job putting the whole virtual debate all together and utilized great programs and video conferencing software to help us, students, to be successful at this debate.”

Club members competed against over 100 Orange County (OC) high school students. Prior to the competition, the team reviewed debate topics for three weeks and researched debate fundamentals for a month. 

“When the team won I was proud of how all our preparation had paid off,” Manathattai said. “The most valuable thing I learned from this experience was more about fine tuning the technical side of my debates, making arguments hard to refute. I am proud of how our team all contributed ideas and succeeded together.”

IHS Speech and Debate will attend another debate tournament in January.