This past weekend, the Mitty Speech and Debate team kicked off their 2016-2017 season with a trip to Long Beach to compete at the nationally recognized Jack Howe Memorial Invitational. 34 students geared up for the earliest tournament we've ever competed in! After 2 weeks of straight blitzing, the students came together for dinner, skits, and reflections.

 The students enjoyed sandwiches from Ike's, a team favorite!

The students enjoyed sandwiches from Ike's, a team favorite!

 Super Six shared some advice with their teammates leading up to the competition.

Super Six shared some advice with their teammates leading up to the competition.

Off to SoCal! With plenty of snacks and 8 hours to go, the students spent the bus ride playing games, finishing up their cases and pieces, and getting some well-deserved rest before their first round the following morning.

 Right after school, the team sent off the Long Beach competitors with plenty of hugs. Everyone piled on the bus and was ready to go!

Right after school, the team sent off the Long Beach competitors with plenty of hugs. Everyone piled on the bus and was ready to go!

 Stopped at In N' Out for dinner, another team favorite.

Stopped at In N' Out for dinner, another team favorite.

Day 1: The debate squad rolled out for their early morning round at 7:30, while the speech kids stayed back at the hotel to do time checks (and their hair). Speech joined debate on campus at noon, but of course, had to stop for a quick photoshoot!

After a full day of prelim rounds, the students went back to the hotel, exhausted but extremely ready for another day of competition. The wait for breaks began! 14 of our 17 speech students advanced to the semifinal round (top 12). We’re extremely proud of all our students for going all in with this opportunity, whether or not they advanced.

 Pump up circle!

Pump up circle!

Day 2: Debate finished off their preliminary rounds on Sunday morning and anxiously awaited breaks. Congratulations to all our Public Forum teams for advancing to double-octos! As for speech, all 14 students who advanced to semis also advanced to finals (top 6). Amazing job, everyone!

 All 3 of our duos lookin' spiffy after competing in the final round!

All 3 of our duos lookin' spiffy after competing in the final round!

 Policy and LD reflecting and enjoying each other's company. They had amazing learning experiences, and the kids all agreed that they enjoyed the tough rounds they lost in more than the easy rounds where they won

Policy and LD reflecting and enjoying each other's company. They had amazing learning experiences, and the kids all agreed that they enjoyed the tough rounds they lost in more than the easy rounds where they won

And finally, what you've all been waiting for: results! Congratulations to the following students who were recognized at the awards ceremony:

HI - Pranavi (2nd)

OPP - Cassie (3rd)

OA - Riya (5th), Darya (3rd), Siddhant (2nd)

Imp - Conor (4th), Siddhant (3rd)

TI - Colin (2nd)

OO - Cassie (5th), Fiona (1st)

Duo - Paige / Arjun (5th), Max / Liv (2nd), Conor / Amelia (1st)

DI - Erica (1st)

Public Forum - Koji and Jolie placed 2nd out of 94 teams, earning a bid to the Tournament of Champions.

Vardhaan was awarded 7th best speaker.

Rahul and Roshni made it to the Quarterfinal round.

As a team, we killed it! Mitty placed 2nd out of 92 schools in both Individual Events Sweepstakes and Overall Sweepstakes. To accomplish this with only 34 kids was absolutely outstanding, and everyone had an amazing time doing it. Congratulations everyone! Special thanks to alumni Nini Bhat, Anika Gidwani, Robbie Gallaher, and CP for supporting our team and judging rounds. Also a huge thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis for chaperoning and judging throughout the weekend–we couldn’t have it without you!

 This was a great start to the upcoming season, and we can’t wait for more!

This was a great start to the upcoming season, and we can’t wait for more!