Millburn High School Forensics Team Strong at State Championship

Members of the Millburn Forensics team smile after a successful State Championship Credits: Edison Sanon
(From left to right) Seniors Claire Joffe (semifinals in Declamation), Fallon Schlossman (State  Champion in Original Oratory), Brianna Khong (semifinals in Declamation), and Lily Blumkin at the New Jersey Forensics League State Championships. Credits: Satyen Gupta
Juniors and Varsity Public Forum Finalists Luke Tolman (left) and Nathaniel Schwamm (right) smile after their final round. Credits: Satyen Gupta

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn High School Forensics team had a strong showing at the 2013 New Jersey Forensics League State Championships at Ridge High School, with the team as a whole taking fourth place in the state.

In speech, the team was led by junior Chase Harrison, who was second in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, and senior Fallon Schlossman, who was state champion in Original Oratory. They were followed closely by seniors Claire Joffe and Brianna Khong, who both broke to semifinals in Declamation.

Debate, following up on its exemplary showing at the Harvard National Championship, had a very successful tournament, with many of its members breaking to elimination rounds. In Lincoln-Douglas, whose members debated the resolution “The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses,” freshman Wesley Hu broke to quarterfinals in the Novice division, while in Junior Varsity, sophomore Tiffany Li advanced to semis, with her classmate Mark Wang not far behind in quarters. Senior Yang Yi broke to quarters in Varsity.

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Chris Li, a member of Lincoln-Douglas, said that “the tournament was an opportunity for Millburn again to demonstrate its prowess in all the events--even against the best competitors in the state. Our Lincoln-Douglas team was especially successful, with debaters reaching outrounds in all three divisions.”

Millburn junior and team captain Ryan Siegel made the final round in Congressional Debate, where competitors debated a wide array of topics, including foreign aid and agricultural subsidies.

Public Forum as well had many competitors in elimination rounds. In the Novice division, the freshman-sophomore pair of Zachary Vinik and Dan Gold made quarterfinals, while two sophomore teams made up of Ishan Pande and Denis Zou, and Alex Brod and Aidan Ahamparam both reached semis in Junior Varsity.  The junior duo of Luke Tolman and Nathaniel Schwamm, after reaching octofinals at Harvard, made finals and placed second at the State Championship in Varsity, debating, along with the rest of the Public Forum team, the resolution “The United States should not require its citizens to have health insurance.”

“I think it shows the progression and long term potential of this team that we had so many people do well across all levels in all the events,” said Schwamm of the school’s victories.

Freshman Raghav Chetal, a new member of the team, shared a similar attitude, saying, “The team did really well, and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to compete, and, ultimately, to learn.”

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