The Mitty Speech and Debate Team spent Valentine's Day weekend doing what they love most: competing! 27 students spent the weekend at UC Berkeley for the highly competitive and prestigious Cal Invitational. We started the week off on Friday with an all day blitz. 

And enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Hong's Cafe.

 With a special appearance from Akaa$h-money!

With a special appearance from Akaa$h-money!

 The Sophomores, however, stole the show with their adorable group walk. Ladies in Formation!

The Sophomores, however, stole the show with their adorable group walk. Ladies in Formation!

After spending the rest of the day working, the team kicked back with sundaes, Iguanas, and underclassmen speeches.

 The boys in room Dabbin' Debaters decided to spilt a massive Burritozilla.

The boys in room Dabbin' Debaters decided to spilt a massive Burritozilla.

 Sophomore Jolie Leung explains how this team has shaped her so far in her underclassmen speech.

Sophomore Jolie Leung explains how this team has shaped her so far in her underclassmen speech.

Then, after a good night's sleep, it was time for competition!

....after enjoying some delicious Berkeley food of course.

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Students competing in Congressional debate headed off for their first round, while speech competitors went back to the hotel to change.

 Congress heading out to compete!

Congress heading out to compete!

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Then came day two:

Before everyone headed into their 3rd and final prelim round, we decided to spend some time for a photoshoot.

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It's definitely time to introduce you to the rooms of MSD Berkeley— each room had 3-4 students and an awesome name:

 The CALifornia Girls: Bharathi Arasan, Cassie Korb, Maddie Whalen, Jahnvi Singh

The CALifornia Girls: Bharathi Arasan, Cassie Korb, Maddie Whalen, Jahnvi Singh

 Parli God Squad: Arjun Biju, Pranav Govindaraju, Ismail Shaik, Lucas Kernan

Parli God Squad: Arjun Biju, Pranav Govindaraju, Ismail Shaik, Lucas Kernan

 The Holy Trinity: Paige Decena, Margo Salah, Jocelyn Woods

The Holy Trinity: Paige Decena, Margo Salah, Jocelyn Woods

 Connect 4 (the only room with 1 person from each of the four class periods): Amulya Yerrapotu, Pranavi Javangula, Seher Randhawa, Jolie Leung

Connect 4 (the only room with 1 person from each of the four class periods): Amulya Yerrapotu, Pranavi Javangula, Seher Randhawa, Jolie Leung

 The Dabbin' Debaters: Charlie Pyle, Robbie Gallaher, Dittu Gunda, Sam Mesfin

The Dabbin' Debaters: Charlie Pyle, Robbie Gallaher, Dittu Gunda, Sam Mesfin

 The Herbal Witches: Nini Bhat, Liv Monroy, Amelia Whitney, Piper Lewis

The Herbal Witches: Nini Bhat, Liv Monroy, Amelia Whitney, Piper Lewis

 The Rogue S-Quad-ron: Siddhant Gannu, Jonathan Pham, Akaash Tawade, Koji Flynn-do

The Rogue S-Quad-ron: Siddhant Gannu, Jonathan Pham, Akaash Tawade, Koji Flynn-do

After a prelim round, it was time for breaks.... or at least the wait for breaks. In other words: dinner and a nap!

 s/out to MSD Alum Mihir Chitalia for dropping by to say hello and judge!

s/out to MSD Alum Mihir Chitalia for dropping by to say hello and judge!

 A team that competes together naps together.

A team that competes together naps together.

 Dinner @ Cancun! ft. a confused looking Mr. Cruz

Dinner @ Cancun! ft. a confused looking Mr. Cruz

We ended up advancing 8/10 competitors in Congress to semifinals (the most of any school) and 13 additional speech entries for a total of 23 breaks. After Octofinals, the team headed back to the hotel and stayed up waiting to find out who advanced to the Quarterfinal round of competition.

 Phones in a pile off to the side so no one found out early...

Phones in a pile off to the side so no one found out early...

 ...Mrs. Cruz slowly listed off breaks, thoroughly messing with our heads in the process.

...Mrs. Cruz slowly listed off breaks, thoroughly messing with our heads in the process.

In the end, everyone who broke to Octofinals advanced to Quarterfinals in at least one of their events! We were all up bright and early the next morning for the next round. The day wore on, and slowly but surely, it came time for breaks to the final round.

 But first, we had a team circle to debrief semi-final rounds.

But first, we had a team circle to debrief semi-final rounds.

 s/out to Vardhaan and Prahlad for dropping in to support their teammates.

s/out to Vardhaan and Prahlad for dropping in to support their teammates.

And then— Mr. and Mrs. Cruz announced breaks. In the most drawn out way possible, of course. Our reaction? See for yourself:

Before we knew it, final rounds finished up and it was time for awards. Here's the summary:

1 Octofinalists: Robbie in Impromptu

5 Quarterfinalists: Amulya in Impromptu, Robbie in Extemp, Jocelyn in DI, Liv in HI, and Piper in DI

11 Semifinalists: Ismail in Congress, Dittu in Congress, Akaash in Congress, Koji in Congress, Charlie in Congress, Siddhant in Congress, Jolie in Congress, Bharathi in Expos, Amulya in Extemp, Liv and Amelia in Duo, and Lucas in HI

AND 6 Finalists! Congratulations to Pranav for placing 9th in Congress, Seher for placing 5th in Expos, Sam for placing 4th in DI, Nini for placing 3rd in TI, Amelia for placing 2nd in TI, and Lucas and Piper for placing 2nd in Duo! 

Congratulations to everyone for an incredible weekend!