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Archive | National Circuit Results

2016 Extemp TOC: Xu Brings the Title Back to San Marino With Three Rank Victory Over Graham

tocThe fourteenth edition of the Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) was held last weekend on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and Brian Xu of San Marino High School (CA) won the second major championship of the season. Xu defeated Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), who was attempting to win two TOC tournaments in back-to-back weeks, by three ranks. Xu and Graham took all of the first place ranks in the final round.

Xu becomes the second extemper from San Marino to win the Extemp TOC. Nabeel Zewail of San Marino won the title back in 2010 and San Marino becomes the second school, other than Eagan High School (MN) to have two extempers win the tournament.

The final round featured a diverse collection of talent, with five of the finalists having competed at the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin back in January. Neil Patel of Plano West High School (TX) finished in third place, followed by Justin Cooper of Scarsdale High School (NY). Bradley Wascher of St. James School (AL) and Glenbrooks winner Marshall Webb of St. Mary’s Hall (TX) rounded out the top six.

Xu will earn 100 points in the National Points Race for his win, but Graham, who also won the Impromptu competition at the tournament and placed fourth by himself in school sweepstakes, will extend his lead since Vaikunth Balaji of Ridge High School (NJ) and Marshall Sloane of Milton Academy (MA) were not in the field. New National Points Race standings will be released on Thursday evening.

Here are the results of the 2016 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 University of Kentucky TOC: Graham Adds to National Points Race Lead; Sloane Wins the Final Round

National Points Race leader Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) took one step further to clinching the competition before the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament by winning the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC) last weekend in Lexington, Kentucky. This was the second year of the expanded TOC tournament format and Graham, who placed third in last year’s competition, won the cumulative tournament by five ranks over Samhitha Sunkara of Ardrey Kell High School (NC).

Sunkara and Marshall Sloane of Milton Academy (MA) tied for first place in the final round, with each accumulating a total of sixteen from the round’s five judges. On judges’ preference, Sloane won, but he and Sunkara made up little ground against Graham, who finished the final round with a total of seventeen ranks. Since Graham entered the final round with a six rank lead this was enough to make him the tournament champion, while Sloane finished third.

The tournament attracted an impressive field for a second consecutive year, with five of the top ten competitors in the National Points Race attending (and four of the top five). Vaikunth Balaji of Ridge High School (NJ), who entered the tournament in second place in the National Points Race, was eliminated in the semi-final round.  Nathaniel Saffran of Trinity Preparatory, who sits in fourth place in the current rankings, was also eliminated in semi-finals.

All of the competitors that reached the semi-final round and beyond will earn National Points Race points. Graham will receive seventy points for winning the tournament.

Here are the results of the 2015 University of Kenucky Tournament of Champions (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 California Invitational: Zheng Wins First National Circuit Title of the Year; Levenson Wins Final Round and Takes Second

berkeleyThis year’s National Points Race features the California Invitational as a third tier tournament and Matthew Zheng of Mira Loma High School (CA) seized the chance to move into the rankings by winning the tournament in February. Zheng took the title in the cumulative competition by three ranks, defeating Jacob Levenson of Nova High School (FL), although Levenson did win the tournament’s final round by one rank. Daniel Ginsburg of Miramonte High School (CA) finished in third place.

If Levenson had defeated Zheng he would have become the first non-Californian to win the tournament in eleven years.

As expected, California schools dominated the tournament, with twelve of the fifteen competitors that survived to the semi-finals and finals coming from the state. However, there were some notable names that made the trip to Berkeley. One of them was Glenbrooks winner Marshall Webb of Saint Mary’s Hall (TX), who finished in fifth place.

All of the competitors that reached the quarter-final round and beyond will earn National Points Race points. The new National Points Race standings will be released late Wednesday night.

Here are the results of the 2016 California Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 Harvard University National High School Invitational: Hu Defeats 218 Others to Move Up the National Points Race; Sloane Places Second

harvardTwo months ago, Harvard University held its 42nd edition of its National Forensics Tournament. Katherine Hu of Plano Senior High School (TX) was the winner, achieving a five rank victory after taking three of the five available first place ranks in the final round. Marshall Sloane of Milton Academy (MA) finished in second place, continuing an impressive second semester string of showings in National Points Race tournaments. Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin winner Vaikunth Balaji of Ridge High School (NJ) finished third.

Hu’s victory makes her the first Texas extemper since at least 2000 to win Harvard. She also becomes the second female winner of the tournament in the last five years, as Lily Nellans of Des Moines Roosevelt High School won the tournament in 2012.

Since Harvard is a second tier tournament in the National Points Race, Hu will earn 150 points for her victory. National Points Race leader Justin Graham of Trinity Preparation School (FL) saw his attempt to defend his title end in the preliminary rounds due to a sixth place rank in the second round. All of the competitors that reached elimination rounds earned National Points Race points.

Here are the results of the 2016 Harvard University National High School Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 Barkley Forum: Boreckzy Defeats Langford to Bring the Title Back to the West Coast

emorySeveral weeks ago Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia hosted its annual Barkley Forum for high schools. Chance Boreckzy of James Logan High School (CA) became the first California winner of the tournament since 2006, edging out Andrew Langford of Lake Highland Preparatory School (FL) by one rank to win the title. National Points Race leader Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) finished in third place.

The tournament was one of the closest in history as only one rank separated each of the top four competitors. For example, Jacob Levenson of Nova High School (FL) finished just three ranks behind Boreckzy.

Since the Barkley Forum is a fourth tier tournament in the National Points Race, Boreckzy will earn seventy points for this win. The tournament allows Justin Graham to enhance his National Points Race lead since none of the competitors close to him inthe standings made the trip to Atlanta.

Here are the results of the 2016 Barkley Forum (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 Marshall Speech Spectacular: Shoemaker Wins Her Second TOC Title of the Year; Bi Finishes Second

Marshall High School in Marshall, Minnesota hosted the last fifth tier tournament in the 2015-2016 National Points Race on January 29 and 30. Olivia Shoemaker of Lakeville North High School (MN) was this year’s tournament champion, winning by a convincing five rank margin over Kevin Bi of East Ridge High School (MN).

The final round was dominated by Minnesota extempers, as Jarrek Holmes of Kent Denver School (CO) was the only non-Minnesota competitor to make it that far. He finished fourth.

The tournament final was largely a duel between Shoemaker and Bi as they ended up well clear of their fellow competitors. Whereas Shoemaker ended up five ranks clear of Bi, Bi ended up three ranks ahead of third place finisher Charlie Park of Roseville Area High School (MN).

Shoemaker will earn forty points for her victory in the National Points Race, which is her first National Points Race title of the year. The victory was her second at an Extemp TOC qualifying tournament this season as she won the Dowling Catholic Paradigm in December.

Here are the results of the 2016 Marshall Speech Spectacular (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 James Logan MLK Invitational: Shaik and Govindaraju Lead an Archbishop Mitty Sweep

Last weekend’s James Logan MLK Invitational, held at James Logan High School in Union City, California, played host to the second part of the “California Swing” of the National Points Race and this year’s event was dominated by Archbishop Mitty High School (CA).  In International Extemp, Ismail Shaik of Archbishop Mitty won a five rank victory over Shreyan Jain of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) and in United States Extemp, Pranav Govindaraju of Mitty narrowly defeated Charles Tang of Leland High School (CA) by one rank.  The tabulation of the tournament was cumulative.

Although the tournament attracted talent from Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, California extempers dominated the final rounds.  The only non-California extemper to make a final round was Kshitiz Singh of Desert Vista High School (AZ), who placed fifth in United States Extemp.

Extempers that reached each final round will receive National Points Race points due to the fact that James Logan is a fifth tier tournament in the National Points Race.  Since each final round had seven finalists, only the top six will receive points.

Here are the results of the 2016 James Logan MLK Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 Stanford National Invitational: Xu Sweeps Both Extemp Categories For First National Points Race Win of the Season

Moving from its traditional February date, this year’s Stanford National Invitational, a fifth tier tournament in the National Points Race, attracted a smaller field.  Twenty-six competitors faced off in International Extemp and twenty-four in United States Extemp and Brian Xu of San Marino High School (CA) took the titles in both categories.  Xu defeated Michelle Huang of Irvington High School (CA) in International Extemp and teammate Joseph Kiang in United States Extemp.  These wins give Xu his first victory in a National Points Race tournament this season.

Since Stanford allowed competitors to double in both extemp categories, our “St. Mark’s formula” was used to determine which competitors would receive National Points Race points.  Xu, Kiang, and Huang occupied the top three places and there were several ties for the other points.  As a result, Connor Wright of Lodi High School (CA) and Jennifer Xiao of San Marino High School will share the fourth place points awarded for Stanford and Karisa Anand of Sierra Canyon High School (CA) and Micalyn Strubble of College Preparatory (CA) will share sixth place points.

Here are the results of the 2016 Stanford National Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):
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2016 Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin: Balaji Overcomes Graham and Sloane in the Final Round to Win the First Major Championship of 2016

mba2010After two days of close and fierce competition in Nashville, Vaikunth Balaji of Ridge High School (NJ) emerged as the winner of the 2016 Montgomery Bell Extemp Round Robin. Balaji survived ten grueling rounds of competition against some of the best extempers in the nation, edging National Points Race leader Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) by one rank. His win marks the first time that a Ridge extemper placed in the top six of the Round Robin and he is the first New Jersey extemper to win the tournament since 2009, when Matt Arons of Millburn High School took home the title.

This year’s Round Robin was the closest in two years, with Balaji, Graham, and third place finisher Marshall Sloane of Milton Academy (MA) all entering the ninth round of the tournament tied for the lead. In the tenth round, Balaji’s picket fencing of his round was better than Graham’s 1-1-2 performance in another section. Sloane was matched up with Balaji and went straight two’s, leaving him three ranks behind Balaji when the tournament concluded.

In many ways, Balaji’s win was a come-from-behind effort as he began the tournament in fifth place after the first round. He maneuvered his way into the top three after round three, while Graham took the lead in the tournament after round five. Graham would hold that position going into the very last round. In fact, Balaji went from third to first after the tenth round and he never led the tournament until the very end.

Sloane was the only non-senior to finish in the top six. The top six also included Saint Mark’s International Extemp winner Micah Cash of Booker T. Washington High School (OK), Glenbrooks winner Marshall Webb of Saint Mary’s Hall (TX), and Daniel Drane of Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA).

Balaji will receive 150 National Points Race points for his victory since MBA is a second tier tournament. The win is his first major championship and second victory at a Nationals Points Race tournament this season.

Here are the results of the 2016 Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin:
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2015 George Mason University Patriot Games: Judges’ Preference Gives Saffran His Second National Points Race Tournament Title of the Season; Des Moines Roosevelt Places Two in the Final Round

gmuThe first half of the 2015-2016 national circuit calendar is in the books with the conclusion of the George Mason University Patriot Games two weeks ago in Fairfax, Virginia. Nathaniel Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) won his second National Points Race contest of the season, edging Jacob Thompson of Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA) by judges’ preference. Saffran and Thompson traded first place ranks in the final round, with Saffran’s accumulation of three one’s enabling him to overcome an errant sixth place rank. Saffran will receive 100 points in the National Points Race for his win since George Mason is a third tier tournament.

Observers of the national circuit may have expected Trinity to place multiple finalists, but that honor went to Des Moines Roosevelt instead. In addition to Thompson, the school placed Daniel Drane in the final round, with Drane finishing fourth behind Saffran, Thompson, and Justin Cooper of Scarsdale High School (NY).

National Points Race leader and last year’s Patriot Games runner-up Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory was eliminated in the quarter-finals. Graham did win the tournament’s Round Robin competition, though.  Other notables that made an early exit in quarter-finals included Vaikunth Balaji of Ridge High School (NJ) and Brian Xu of San Marino High School (CA).

Here are the results of the 2015 George Mason University Patriot Games (Click here for tab sheet):
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