Debaters finish excellent season at nationals

Chandler and Brochu one ballot away from ranking

Posted 6/23/22

Two Powell High School students wrapped up a strong season of debate by competing alongside thousands of students at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. 

At the …

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Debaters finish excellent season at nationals

Chandler and Brochu one ballot away from ranking

Posted

Two Powell High School students wrapped up a strong season of debate by competing alongside thousands of students at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. 

At the districts competition in March, Dacovney Brochu, who will be a senior this fall, and 2022 graduate Aiden Chandler qualified for the national competition in individual events, but they chose to go with their strength and compete at the national tournament in public forum debate.

Public forum is the event in which the two students  — partners for three years —  won both 3A district and state championships this year. 

While they did not win a ranking in the nationals, they did manage to finish just shy of it.

Each event in the National Speech and Debate Tournament, which began June 13 and finished last Friday, consisted of six preliminary rounds and eight “out rounds.” 

Brochu and Chandler made it through the preliminary rounds but did not receive enough ballots to proceed to the “out rounds.”

“We were just one ballot away from ranking in nationals, which would have been cool,” said Chandler. “We came really close.” 

For Chandler and Brochu, the most interesting aspect of the competition was facing debaters from a variety of states who had their own unique styles. 

They competed against teams from Florida, South Dakota, Washington D.C. and Arizona, among others. 

“We got to debate some pretty interesting people from all over the country — and definitely didn’t see eye to eye with a lot of people in rounds,” Chandler said.

Brochu had attended the national tournament once virtually, while Chandler — who was named Powell High School’s first National Speech and Debate Association All American this year — had attended virtually twice.

“I think it feels like a much bigger deal when you’re competing in person,” Brochu said, “whereas virtually, you only really see your competitors in competition and then you’re waiting in your room.” 

“This really solidifies the fact you’re competing in a massive tournament,” she added.

To fundraise this year, Brochu and Chandler asked for donations via letters to local law firms and businesses and posts on the Powell Valley Exchange Facebook group. Chandler said they received a large donation from Bonner Law Firm in Cody, among others.

“Thanks for the generous donations; it really helps,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to come to nationals to represent Wyoming.”

Powell High School, Speech and Debate

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