San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 17th, 2010
SMHS successful at Stanford Invitational

021510debateFront row, left to right:  Ben Painton, Amber Navarrete, Alexis Burt, Coach Lacye Odam, Carly Villarreal.  Middle row, left tor right:  Irene Morse, Selena Selvera, Brittany Howard, Kelley Mathis, Kristine Staggs, Julie Munoz, Keegan Taylor, Coach CJ Odam, Edward Davila. Back row, left to right:  Chris DelaIglesia, Henry Finch, Frankie Torres, Chris Hall.


The San Marcos High School (SMHS) speech and debate team successfully represented the school district at the recent Stanford University Speech and Debate Invitational Tournament in Palo Alto, CA, earlier this month.

Two SMHS seniors, Kelley Mathis and Irene Morse, placed seventh and 15th place in their categories, respectively, in a tourney that boasted more than 120 competing schools.

Mathis was named a national finalist in Student Congress, debating hundreds of other students in ten grueling hours of debates on the floor of various “congressional houses.”  Mathis debated on topics that included health care options, Haiti relief efforts, free speech in high schools, civil liberties, and the Federal Reserve Board. She went on to place seventh in the event.

Morse reached the semifinal rounds competing in International Extemporaneous Speaking. The category is a particularly difficult one, as speakers are given a topic and 30 minutes to prepare to make a speech about it.  Her topics and speeches in the event included North Korea’s nuclear program and the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. Morse worked through five rounds of competition and took 15th place in the category.

Other SMHS students barely missed the upper rounds of the tournament. Senior Julie Munoz took fourth place in her section after eight hours of debate. However, only the top three are taken for the finals round.

Outside of the National Forensic League’s national tournament, the Stanford Invitational is one of the few and most prestigious national tournaments in the country. This was San Marcos High School’s first trip to the tourney. Lacye and CJ Odam coach the team.

The SMHS team worked hard raising funds to attend the event. Other support came from local businesses and community members, including David S. Watts, Michael Wenk,  Leah Hamann, Thomason Funeral Home, Clay and Carol Sullivan, and the administration of SMHS.

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