The Lawrence High School forensic squad left Birmingham, Ala., around mid-day Friday without any national trophies to show for their effort. But LHS coach Jeff Plinsky says it was still one of the most successful trips to the national tournament in school history.
"It's been a great trip," Plinsky said in a telephone interview as the team was getting ready for the 12-hour drive back to Lawrence.
"It was the most successful national tournament I can remember for Lawrence," he said.
That's because three of the four competitors advanced out of preliminaries and into the elimination rounds, which places them among the top 60 competitors nationally in their respective events.
Lauren Pauls, a senior, advanced to the semi-final competition in congressional debate - Senate, a form of competition where speakers compete individually in a large-group setting that simulates the United States Senate.
Clara Cobb, a sophomore, advanced to elimination rounds in humorous interpretation, finishing in 56th place. And freshman Stefan Petrovic advanced in international extemporaneous speaking, finishing 59th at the national tournament.
Another Kansas competitor, Allie McKibben of El Dorado High School, advanced to the final round in international extemporaneous speaking, placing her among the top six in the nation. Results of that final round were not available late Friday afternoon.
The fourth member of the squad, senior Eddie Loupe, did not advance beyond the preliminary rounds in Lincoln-Douglas debate, finishing with a 2-10 record at the tournament.