By Aidan Fitzgerald ’18
On Thursday, May 26, twenty members of the Robert C. Wright Speech and Debate Team arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 4:30 AM, feeling groggy but excited about the weekend that lay before them. Six cramped hours later, the Flyers landed in San Francisco, California, and proceeded to travel to Sacramento, where they would compete in the NCFL Grand National Speech and Debate Tournament. These members of the team qualified for the tournament in March, by placing 6th place or better at the qualifying tournament, in which all of Long Island competed. After enjoying their Thursday and Friday exploring Sacramento, the Flyers joined the hundreds of other speakers and debaters from across the United States at either the Sacramento Convention Center or McClatchy High School to compete for the title of best in the country.
After rigorously competing in rounds all day Saturday, the team gathered at the Sacramento Convention Center to learn whether they would advance to the final rounds on Sunday. Although the entire team performed well, the fierce competition only allowed a few Flyers to advance. Peter Charalambous ’16 advanced to the octafinal round in Extemporaneous Speaking, while battling laryngitis. The Duo Interpretation team of Will DeVito ’16 and Joseph Drennan ’16 also advanced to the octafinal round for their event. Last but not least, Christian Gagnon ’16 advanced to the semifinal round in Student Congress. These four students received medals for their efforts. Congratulations to the Speech and Debate Team for representing Chaminade well at the National Championship!