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2015 Ridge Invitational: Sirot Denies Rinder Back-to-Back TOC Titles; Weinflash Completes TOC Qualification

Mark Rinder‘s chance of winning back-to-back Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournaments was denied last weekend in Basking Ridge, New Jersey as Jay Sirot of Montville Township High School (NJ) defeated the Columbia champion and won his first TOC qualifying title of the year.

Sirot led an impressive showing for Montville Township, which had three of the six finalists in the tournament. Rinder’s school, Freehold Township High School (NJ), had two of the other three finalists.  The sole non-Montville and non-Freehold finalist was Abhinav Karale of the Delbarton School (NJ).  Karale finished fourth.

Noah Weinflash of Montville, who placed third, completed his at-large qualification to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. The top three finishers at Ridge earned TOC qualifying legs, but Sirot and Rinder were already pre-qualified to this year’s TOC.

All of the finalists also earned an automatic qualification to the University of Kentucky TOC.

Here are the results of the 2015 Ridge Invitational:
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2015 Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament: Eckberg Triumphs Over an Eastview-Dominated Final Round

A three-week Minnesota swing of Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournaments kicked off last weekend in Chanhassen, Minnesota at the Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament. Noah Eckberg of East Ridge High School was this year’s winner, winning an all-Minnesota final by three ranks. Varoon Pazhyanur of Eastview High School finished in second place. Eckberg took three of the available first place ranks in the final round, while Pazhyanur took the other two.

Eastview High School had four of the seven finalists at the tournament. In addition to Pazhyanur, Apoorva Malarvannan finished third, Alex Baker finished third, and Charlie Cahow finished seventh.

The top three extempers earned qualifying legs to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. No extemper at the tournament completed their at-large qualification. Those who earned a qualifying leg are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2015 Chanhassen Speech Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):
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2015 Downers Grove South Varsity Tournament: Bare Defeats Chun in an All-Illinois Final

Eighty-three extempers competed last weekend at the Downers Grove South Varsity Invitational in Downers Grove, Illinois. After five rounds of competition, Colette Bare of Glenbard West High School (IL) was crowned as the tournament champion, defeating Steven Chun of Hinsdale Central High School (IL) in the tournament’s final round. Charlie Stark of Downer Grove North High School (IL) placed third.

The tournament featured a diverse final round, with six different Illinois schools represented. Defending tournament champion Parth Patel of Huntley High School (IL) did not participate in this year’s event.

The top three finishers at the tournament earned a qualifying leg for the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. Chun and Stark completed their at-large qualification via their placings at the event, while Bare earned her first qualifying leg of the season.

Here are the results of the 2015 Downers Grove South Varsity Invitiational:
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October 2014 TOC Texas Swing: Lamar Consolidated, Plano Senior, and Saint Mary’s Hall Host Three TOC Competitions; Fifteen Competitors Earn First TOC Leg

tocTwo weeks ago, three Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champion (TOC) qualifying tournaments took place across the state of Texas. Lamar Consolidated, Plano West Senior High School, and St. Mary’s Hall hosted competitons in International and United States Extemp and the top three placing extempers in each category earned a TOC leg.

At Lamar Consolidated, Seven Lakes High School (TX) swept the extemp categories as Smriti Ahuja won a two rank victory over teammate Simbai Mutandiro in International Extemp, and Shreetika Singh went straight 1’s in finals to win United States Extemp over teammate Xixi Wang. Six extempers earned TOC legs through the Lamar Consolidated High School Tournament and they are indicated in italics in the results listing.

At the Plano West Hungry Like the Wolves Classic, Abhinav Sridharan of Plano Senior High School (TX) won International Extemp by one rank over Davis Larkin of the Parish Episcopal School (TX). The victory is Sridharan’s second in a TOC qualifying tournament this season, as he won the International Extemp competition at the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational the week prior to his appearance at Plano West. In United States Extemp, Katherine Hu of Jasper High School (TX) won a two rank victory over Sankalp Singh of Plano Senior High School. Four competitors earned their first TOC leg at the competition and they are indicated in italics below.

The largest of the three tournaments took place at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. Fifty-eight competitors entered International Extemp, where Nader Syed of Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” High School (TX) took the title by going straight 1’s in the final round. Kenneth Logan Williams of Robert E. Lee High School finished second. Syed secures his TOC qualification as he earns his second leg to go with the one he earned at St. Mark’s. Seventy-eight competitors entered United States Extemp and Rachel Evans of Salado High School (TX) won the championship by one rank over Jami Tanner of Klein High School (TX). Five competitors earned their first TOC leg at the tournament and are indicated in italics in the Saint Mary’s Hall results listing.

Here are the results of the October TOC Texas Swing:
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2014 Salina High Central Invitational: Duran and Yates Enable El Dorado To Sweep Both Extemp Categories

Salina High Central in Salina, Kansas hosted the last of at-large qualifying tournaments to this year’s Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) last weekend when it held its Salina High Central Invitational. The Kansas-rich field featured varsity and novice competitions in International and United States Extemp and the tournament was cumulative. El Dorado High School (KS) possessed both champions in the varsity extemp categories as Trey Duran overcame a pre-final round deficit of six ranks to defeat teammate Megan Kline in International Extemp by one and Dakota Yates defeated Alexander Trobough of the Sumner Academy of Arts & Science by four ranks in United States Extemp.

In the novice categories, Spencer Mitchell of Shawnee Mission East High School (KS) defeated Alex Rickard of Newton High School (KS) by three ranks in International Extemp and Brett Kamber of Hutchinson High School (KS) beat Mitch Wagenheim of Shawnee Mission West High School (KS) by two ranks in United States Extemp. Kamber went straight 1’s in his final round.

The tournament did not have enough entries (13 extempers competed in International Extemp and 31 in United States Extemp) to grant legs outside of the varsity final rounds, so although United States Extemp broke to quarter-finals, only those who made its final round earned TOC qualifying legs. Although all of the finalists earned their first TOC qualifying leg, there are no more at-large qualifying tournaments remaining, so they will have to apply for an at-large spot to this year’s field. Since Kansas does not hold its state tournament until May 3rd, its state finalists this season will earn an automatic qualification to the 2015 Extemp TOC instead of this season’s event.

Here are the results of the 2014 Salina High Central Invitational (Click here for tab sheet)
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2014 Alief Taylor High School Tournament: Singh and Brotzen-Smith Win Titles at the Last Texas TOC Qualifier of the Season; Thanki Qualifies

Numbers were down for this year’s Alief Taylor High School Tournament, a 2014 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifier, after the tournament was rescheduled from its usual January date. Shretika Singh of Seven Lakes High School (TX) defeated Junyuan Tan of Alief Kerr High School (TX) and seventeen other competitors to win International Extemp. In United States Extemp, Franz Brotzen-Smith of Lamar High School (TX) defeated Princewell Imouokhome of Seven Lakes High School and twelve other competitors to win the title.

Alief Taylor was the last in-state TOC qualifying opportunity, aside from the Texas Forensic Association (TFA) State Tournament, for Texas extempers. Pranav Thanki of Seven Lakes High School was the only extemper to finish their at-large qualification at the tournament. Eight other extempers earned their first TOC qualifying leg and are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2014 Alief Taylor High School Tournament:
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2014 Pennsbury Falcon Invitational: Langan Wins in First TOC Qualifying Tournament Appearance of the Season

Last weekend Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania hosted its eleventh annual Pennsbury Falcon Invitational. The tournament has been an Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifier for the last several seasons and the tournament is the second to last qualifier stationed on the East Coast for the 2013-2014 season. Emmalie Langan of EL Meyers High School (PA) bested thirty-nine other extempers to win the tournament championship and became the seventh female extemper to win a TOC qualifying tournament this season. Langan defeated Collin Quigley of Holy Ghost Preparatory (PA), who qualified to this year’s TOC last week by semi-finaling at the Columbia Invitational, by three ranks in the final round. Delbarton High School (NJ) had two finalists – Thomas Abel and Abhinav Karale – who placed third and fourth, respectively.

The tournament had just enough extempers to give TOC legs to all elimination round participants. Three extempers – Mary Breen of Gwynedd Mercy Academy (PA), Nick Giuliano of Holy Ghost Preparatory, and Jack Marshall of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (PA) – finished up their TOC qualifications by earning their second qualifying leg. Giuliano’s qualification is notable because he earned his first leg last week at the Columbia Invitational, so he qualified to this year’s TOC in two weeks. Four other extempers, which includes tournament champion Langan, earned their first qualifying leg. All extempers that earned a TOC qualifying leg are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2014 Pennsbury Falcon Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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2014 Downers Grove South Varsity Tournament: TOC Qualifier Patel Claims Victory Over Five Other TOC Hopefuls

The last of the three Illinois-based 2014 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournaments, the Downers Grove South Varsity Tournament, took place last weekend at Downers Grove South High School in Downers Grove, Illinois.  The tournament featured an all-Illinois final and Parth Patel of Huntley High School emerged as the tournament champion over Saumya Jain of Neuqua Valley High School.  Neuqua Valley and Wheaton Warrenville South High School each had two finalists and Neuqua did better as Jain’s teammate Abhishek Nigam took third.

Patel was the only extemper that had earned a qualification to this year’s TOC before the tournament.  The other five finalists earned their first qualifying leg and are indicated in italics below.

Here are the results of the 2014 Downers Grove South Varsity Tournament:
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2014 Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament: Ladies Rule as Brahmbatt Narrowly Defeats Nellans

Minnesota is a state that splits its debate and speech seasons by semester and the spring semester is the beginning of speech competitions in one of the country’s most nationally successful states. Chanhassen High School in Chanhassen, Minnesota hosted its annual Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament, which attracted twenty-nine extempers like Saturday. Haley Brahmbatt of Chanhassen, a semi-finalist at last year’s CFL Grand National Tournament and quarter-finalist at last year’s NFL National Tournament in International Extemp, took advantage of competing on familiar ground and denied Lily Nellans of Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA) bid to win a third Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournament this season. Brahmbhatt defeated Nellans by one rank to take the title after Nellans took a fourth place rank from one of the five judges on the final round panel, which negated three first place ranks that she received in the round.  Brahmbhatt took the other two first place ranks available in the final.  Jack Kurila of Eastivew High School (MN) took third. Des Moines Roosevelt placed three extempers in the final round, which was more than any other school. The tournament was unique among many of the TOC qualifying tournaments this season as the final was equally gender balanced, with three female extempers competing against three male extempers.

The tournament also hosted a novice tournament, which was won by Grant Longman-Wheeler of Chaska High School (MN). Longman-Wheeler triumphed over Olivia Shoemaker of Lakeville North High School (MN). Jacob Thompson of Des Moines Roosevelt High School placed third.

All of the extempers in varsity finals earned a TOC qualifying leg and two extempers earned their first qualifying leg for the season. They are indicated in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2014 Chanhassen High School Speech Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):
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2014 Winston Churchill Classic: Lin & Albrecht Take Titles in Crowded Fields

Texas tournaments are usually large and last weekend’s Winston Churchill Classic in San Antonio, Texas was not exception. 100 extempers battled each other in International Extemp, while 116 competed in United States Extemp. Unlike St. Mark’s, extempers were not allowed to double in the extemp categories, so extempers could not earn both of the legs needed for their 2014 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualification at the event.

Phoebe Lin of Plano West High School (TX), a finalist in International Extemp at the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational in October, won International Extemp, beating out Davis Larkin of the Parish Episcopal School (TX), who was a participant at the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin two weeks ago. In United States Extemp, Cosmo Albrecht of Robert E. Lee High School (TX) defeated Jackson Crawford of Klein High School (TX) for the tournament title. Albrecht finished second last month at the University of Texas Longhorn Classic to reigning NFL United States Extemp National Champion Arel Rende in the tournament’s International and United States Extemp categories.

All of the extempers that made elimination rounds earned a TOC qualifing leg. Crawford, Michael Formella of Southlake Carroll High School (TX), and Hasan Syed of Plano West High School became new TOC qualifiers by earning their second qualifying legs at the tournament. Thirty-two extempers earned their first qualifying leg.  All extempers that earned a qualifying leg are indicated in italics.

Here are the results of the 2014 Winston Churchill Classic:
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