After four state qualifying tournaments, the team was ready to defend their state title at the 2017 CHSSA State Tournament in Arcadia, California! With 46 competitors - the most in the Coast Forensics League as well as the most in MSD history - we were ready for what was to come! Let’s take a look at how it all went down… 

In the weeks leading up to the tournament, we practiced during class and after school almost daily – working hard on our pieces and our cases. 


The week of the tournament brought the always fun, Parent Potluck. All 46 competitors and their families met for amazing food and game night where every competitor also took a few minutes to talk about what Speech and Debate meant for them. We also found out our State Rooming Buddies and Sweethearts as well! A HUGE thank you to the Lewis family for hosting this memorable event! 


After weeks of anticipation, the day had come for the team to head to Southern California for the tournament. After two stops and a delicious dinner with our State Sweethearts, we arrived at the hotel the night before our first rounds of competition.  

Following MSD tradition, Senior Speeches were given by every graduating senior. The speeches were broadcast on Instagram so the entire team back home could enjoy the reflections live. Each speech left everyone energized and thankful for this activity. 


Before day one of competition, everyone was given their tangible metaphors for the weekend. Each competitor was given a bag with notes from their peers which served to truly pump everyone up the night before. Thanks to everyone who wrote the kind words and gave us the cute gifts!

The next two days brought the preliminary rounds of competition in both speech and debate. After more than a hundred combined preliminary rounds by the team, it was time for the breaks to semifinals in speech. With a difficult cut from the top 56 competitors to the top 18, the night was emotional, but the breaks, as always, were phenomenal:

Semifinalists in International Extemporaneous: Eshan Gupta and Mukil Pari

Semifinalists in National Extemporaneous: Charlie Pyle and Rahul Devarapalli

Semifinalist in Impromptu: Vedant Vamshidhar

Semifinalist in Original Advocacy: Darya Kaviani

Semifinalist in Original Oratory: Cassie Korb

Semifinalists in Dramatic Interpretation: Conor Sherry, Erica Johnson and Shanaya Sales

Semifinalists in Humorous Interpretation: Amelia Whitney, John Lahey and Julian Sanghvi

Semifinalists in Oratorical Interpretation: Draigh Ricketson and Anna Wymbs

Semifinalists in Thematic Interpretation: Colin Anderson, Nkem Nnam, Emma Skeet and Madelyn Davis

Semifinalists in Duo Interpretation: Pranavi Javangula and Esha Bhatia, Naman Dandia and Jake Ledger

Semifinalists in Original Prose and Poetry: Paige Decena and Fiona Pestana

Semifinalists in Congressional Debate: Siddhant Gannu


Also, Congratulations to the following debate teams:


Anish Patel and Aayush Sutaria for advancing to Round 4 in Parliamentary Debate.

Arushi Lahiri and Kirthi Ponuswammy for advancing to Round 4 in Policy Debate.

Murad Awad and Liyang Chen for advancing to Round 5 in Policy Debate.

Eshan Gupta and Aditi Chatradhi for advancing to Round 6 in Policy Debate.

Darya Kaviani and Roshni Varma for advancing to Round 6 in Public Forum Debate. 

After a difficult semifinal round the next morning, the team gathered in a circle to find out who our 2017 state finalists would be! After a difficult cut from the top 18 competitors to the top 7, the following were MSD state finalists: 


Original Oratory Finalist: Cassandra Korb

Humorous Interpretation Finalist: Amelia Whitney

Oratorical Interpretation Finalist: Draigh Ricketson

Dramatic Interpretation Finalist: Erica Johnson

Thematic Interpretation Finalists: Colin Anderson and Madelyn Davis

Duo Interpretation Finalist: Pranavi Javangula and Esha Bhatia

Congressional Debate Finalist: Siddhant Gannu

Public Forum Finalists: Koji Flynn-Do and Jolie Leung

After all the finalists gave incredible performances with passion and energy, it now came time for awards! After 3 days of intense competition, congratulations to ALL the competitors. The full results…


Dramatic Interpretation:
3rd place - Erica Johnson

8th place - Conor Sherry

9th place - Shanaya Sales


Duo Interpretation:
1st place - Pranavi Javangula and Esha Bhatia

11th place - Jake Ledger and Naman Dandia


Humorous Interpretation:
4th place - Amelia Whitney

14th place - Julian Sanghvi

17th place - John Lahey


14th place - Vedant Vamshidhar


International Extemporaneous:
9th place - Eshan Gupta

12th place - Mukil Pari


National Extemporaneous:
12th place - Charlie Pyle

18th place - Rahul Devarapalli


Oratorical Interpretation:
4th place - Draigh Ricketson

13th place - Anna Wymbs


Original Advocacy:
9th place - Darya Kaviani


Original Prose and Poetry:
8th place - Fiona Pestana

9th place - Paige Decena


Original Oratory:

7th place - Cassandra Korb


Thematic Interpretation:
1st place - Madelyn Davis

3rd place - Colin Anderson

10th place - Emma Skeet

18th place - Nkem Nnam


Congressional Debate:
2nd place - Siddhant Gannu


Policy Debate:

8th place - Eshan Gupta & Aditi Chatradhi

13th place - Murad Awad & Liyang Chen


Public Forum Debate:

2nd place - Koji Flynn-Do & Jolie Leung

8th place - Darya Kaviani & Roshni Varma


Team Sweepstakes:
1st place - Archbishop Mitty

At the end of the day, we emerged with TWO STATE CHAMPIONS! Junior Madelyn Davis in Thematic Interpretation as well as Junior Esha Bhatia and Senior Pranavi Javangula in Duo Interpretation. In addition, Mitty Speech and Debate defended their state title and for the second consecutive year, were named the TOP Speech and Debate school in California!! 


After the awards ceremony, the team headed to Dave and Busters for a bit of post awards fun – food, games, dancing and team bonding!

The next morning, the team headed back home with smiles on their faces and unforgettable memories. A huge thank you for those who made this possible – family, friends, teachers, coaches and the Mitty administration. This wouldn’t have been possible without the constant love, support and guidance.