2014 Wake Forest National Earlybird: Liang Becomes the National Points Race Leader; Sapiro-Gheiler Takes Second

wakeThe 2014-2015 season kicked off last weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the Wake Forest National Earlybird. Forty-nine extempers participated in the first national circuit competition competition of the year. In the final round, Yijia Liang of Upper Arlington High School (OH) earned a three rank victory over North Carolina native Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler of Durham Academy to claim the title. Liang, a semi-finalist at last season’s National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) nationals, becomes the first Ohio extemper in ten years to win Wake Forest. The last Ohio competitor to do so was Whitney Willits of Perry High School in 2004. The victory makes Liang the inaugural leader of this year’s National Points Race competition.  It is his first national circuit victory as well.

Nathaniel Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) came close to succeeding his brother Miles as Wake Forest champion, but he fell four ranks shy. If he had been successful it would have been the first time that a sibling duo won a national circuit tournament in back-to-back years.

Elizabeth Kingaby of Central Cabarrus High School (NC) appeared in the Wake Forest final for the second consecutive year.  She placed sixth.

Three of the finalists in this year’s tournament – Saffran, Sydney Britton of American Heritage School (FL), and Ben Tobin of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) – were semi-finalists in last year’s competition.

Of all of the schools competing at the tournament, Durham Academy had the most breaks with three. In addition to Sapiro-Gheiler’s runner-up finish, the school placed Abhishek Kodumagulla and Connor Leech in the semi-final round.

All of the finalists earned National Points Race points. Under the new qualification guidelines of the Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) only the finalists earned qualifying legs. Two of the finalists – Liang and Tobin - were prequalified to this year’s TOC. The extempers that earned a qualification leg are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2014 Wake Forest National Earlybird (Click here for tab sheet):
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HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of September 15th-21st, 2014

HOTtopics1. Should Congress authorize war on ISIS?
2. Is the decriminalization of marijuana a public health hazard?
3. What is the best way to promote the use of alternative fuel sources in the United States?
4. Should American schools crack down on grade inflation?
5. Is Georgia moving outside of the Republican orbit?
6. Why is the minority unemployment rate so high?
7. How should the NFL address domestic violence incidents?
8. Is Mary Landrieu headed for defeat this fall?
9. Does President Obama have the right policy to defeat ISIS?
10. Can larger natural gas reserves help the United States repair its relationship with Latin American nations?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of September 15th-21st, 2014

HOTtopics1. Should Palestinians join the ICC?
2. How democratic will the post-coup Thailand be?
3. Are Germany’s radical parties getting stronger?
4. Is the new Iraqi government inclusive enough?
5. Should the Chinese government enact new economic stimulus measures?
6. Is Sweden’s liberal attitude toward immigration backfiring?
7. Should Francois Hollande resign?
8. Will Scottish voters say “yes” to independence?
9. Why is Turkey unwilling to assist in the fight against ISIS?
10. Should Venezuela end the Petrocaribe alliance?

NSDA Champion Interview with Miles Saffran (Part Two)

SaffranMiles Saffran competed for Trinity Preparatory High School in Florida.  He was the 2014 NSDA National Champion in International Extemporaneous Speaking, the 2014 FFL State Champion in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, and a two time qualifier to the Exhibition Round at the Montgomery Bell Academy.  Miles also won several national tournaments, including Wake Forest, Yale, Bronx, Blue Key, Sunvitational, and Emory, and placing in the top three at Harvard and MBA.  He will be studying at Yale University, where he will continue his debate career with the Yale Debate Association.

Miles agreed to sit down with Extemp Central to discuss his career and thoughts on the activity.  Part one of this interview can be found here.
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R&D: Weekly Roundup for the Week of September 8th-14th, 2014

Here is our weekly survey of news stories to round out the week of September 8th-14th, 2014.

Good luck to all of the extempers competing at the Wake Forest this weekend!

 

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NSDA Champion Interview with Miles Saffran (Part One)

SaffranMiles Saffran competed for Trinity Preparatory High School in Florida.  He was the 2014 NSDA National Champion in International Extemporaneous Speaking, the 2014 FFL State Champion in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, and a two time qualifier to the Exhibition Round at the Montgomery Bell Academy.  Miles also won several national tournaments, including Wake Forest, Yale, Bronx, Blue Key, Sunvitational, and Emory, and placing in the top three at Harvard and MBA.  He will be studying at Yale University, where he will continue his debate career with the Yale Debate Association.

Miles agreed to sit down with Extemp Central to discuss his career and thoughts on the activity.
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Strategy: Empathy and Extemp

Dylanby Dylan Adelman

Dylan Adelman competed for Lakeville South High School (MN) and was the 2014 NSDA Nationals runner-up and Final Round Champion in International Extemporaneous Speaking. He previously finished 7th and 11th place in the same category his junior and sophomore years, respectively. Dylan was also the 2014 Minnesota state champion in extemporaneous speaking, as well as the two-time state runner-up to former NSDA national champion Ashesh Rambachan (2012 and 2013). Dylan will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the dual-degree Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business.
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R&D: The International Criminal Court

Today’s R&D covers the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Founded in 2002, the ICC puts individuals on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Over 120 nations belong to the ICC, but the United States is not a member, having never ratified the Rome Statute.  The ICC has been criticized in recent years by African leaders as unfairly targeting their continent, and it recently drew the ire of the international press for shelving the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta due to a lack of evidence.

 

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R&D: Bob McDonnell’s Conviction

Today’s R&D covers the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on eleven counts of public corruption.  McDonnell, who was touted a few years ago as a possible running mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is the first former governor in Virginia history to be convicted of a crime.  He will be sentenced in January and faces decades in prison.

 

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