The 2023 MRH Speech and Debate Team made school history (again) at the National Speech and Debate Association Eastern Missouri District Tournament. Three MRH students became the first in school history to qualify for the National Championship Tournament.
Juniors Nate Boyle and Katy Corcoran were district tournament champions in Policy Debate, finishing ahead of Rockbridge High School of Columbia and Ladue High School, who also qualified.
Sophomore Odessa Javier was tournament champion in Persuasive Original Oratory, with her speech about the need for government action on gun violence. Odessa finished ahead of other qualifiers from Marquette High School and Jefferson City High School.
MRH teacher and Head Coach Rich McCollum noted: "These students have been working on this goal almost daily since before the '22-'23 school year started. They beat larger schools because they worked harder."
MRH students reaching final elimination rounds, but not the top three needed to qualify, were: Sam Siemer, Jack Funke, Maia Truemper, Graham Colvin, Enzo Gilbonio, Leia Skolnick, Grace Floyd, Dakota Colbert, and Chance Terelmes (two events).
More than 300 students from 22 high schools competed in the three-day, 40-hour tournament hosted by Parkway West and Ladue. The 99th annual NSDA National Tournament will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11-16. Nate and Katy will also compete at the MSHSAA State Championships held in April at Missouri State University.