When everything settled last week in Kansas City, Mo., Lawrence High debate juniors Mariah Schwager and Paul Meissbach finished among the top 112 teams in the nation.
“This is the best showing I’ve ever had two juniors have at the national tournament,” LHS debate coach Jeff Plinsky said. “So I’m pretty excited about next year’s prospects.”
The students said it was an incredible ride. It was their first year as debate partners, and they managed to qualify in December for last week’s Lincoln Financial Group National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament, hosted by the Park Hill and North Kansas City school districts.
Students this year debated whether the federal government should substantially increase social services for people in poverty.
“It was a really proud moment for me because I know that that’s really uncommon, and I was really happy to make it that far,” Mariah said.
Paul said he and Mariah have already talked about trying to improve on their finish next year as seniors when the debate season ramps up in the fall. “The way we work together in debate, we really complement each other,” he said. “She fills in the rest of the stuff that I’m not good at and vice versa.”