Program History at the NSDA National Tournament

The National Speech & Debate Association (formerly the National Forensic League) offers the largest academic competition in the world every June.  The team originally joined the NFL in 2004 for a couple of seasons and took a brief membership hiatus. The team reclaimed its national affiliation in 2011-2012.  

The league quickly honored the Marist Speech & Debate team by granting charter membership in 2012-2013, the highest honor a school can receive from the league.  Every spring the team competes at the NFL Southern Peach National Qualifying Tournament.  The tournament is one of the most stressful of the season due to its double elimination format.  Marist has qualified seventy four students to NSDA Nationals.

In 2012, the senior team of Claire Mills '12 and Rachel Thurston '12 finished preliminary rounds with a 8-4 record, earning them a spot in elimination debates.  The pair made it to the tenth round where they lost to Cathedral Preparatory School (PA), ranking 23rd in the nation.

In 2017, the senior team of Thomas Vance '17 and Duvall Adair '17 finished preliminary rounds with a undefeated record 12-0, earning them a spot in elimination rounds.  The pair made it to the tenth round where they lost to Greenhill School (TX), ranking 21st in the nation.  Thomas Vance was named the 7th best speaker in the nation.  Paul Plaia '18 advanced to the Octofinals (top 60) in Impromptu Speaking out of 500 speakers. 

NATIONAL QUALIFIERS

2011-2012 Qualifiers (Indianapolis,IN) - 7 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Claire Mills & Rachel Thurston
Policy Debate: Libby Mandarino & Sydney Chung
Public Forum: John Niedzwiecki & Sterling DeSantis
International Extemporaneous Speaking: Chandler Apple

2012-2013 Qualifiers (Birmingham, AL) - 5 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Chandler Apple & Quang Bui
Public Forum: Sydney Apple & Sterling DeSantis
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Zachary Temin

2013-2014 Qualifiers (Overland Park, KS) - 6 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Chandler Apple & Quang Bui
Congressional Debate: Ryan McKenna
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Ananya Malhotra
Humorous Interpretation: Kelly Bazel
Original Oratory: Brandon Fountain

2014-2015 Qualifiers (Dallas, TX) - 5 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Quang Bui & Duvall Adair
Policy Debate: Zoe Elledge & Drew Sherman
Dramatic Interpretation: Ryan McKenna

2015-2016 Qualifiers (Salt Lake City, UT) - 11 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Duvall Adair & Thomas Vance
Policy Debate: Andrew Zach & William Ross
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Paul Plaia
Humorous Interpretation: Liam Kirchner
Original Oratory: Liam Kirchner
Congressional Debate: Noh Mengisteab
Congressional Debate: Ryan McKenna
Congressional Debate: Katie Hopkins
Congressional Debate: Connor Fraundorf

2016-2017 Qualifiers (Birmingham, AL) - 16 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Duvall Adair & Thomas Vance
Policy Debate: Andrew Zach & Zoe Elledge
Lincoln Douglas Debate: Liam Mullican
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Paul Plaia
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Thomas Vance
International Extemporaneous Speaking: Mason Bussey
International Extemporaneous Speaking: Paul Plaia
Duo Interpretation: Emma Federer & Caswell King
Humorous Interpretation: Caswell King
Program of Oral Interpretation: Emma Federer
Informative Speaking: Payton Griffin
Congressional Debate: Thomas Vance
Congressional Debate: Rachel Lee

2017-2018 Qualifiers (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - 11 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Victoria Turnier & Moira Ujda
Policy Debate: Anthony Ovadje & Julian Gaffga
Lincoln Douglas Debate: Anna Price
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Paul Plaia
Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking: Andrew Zach
International Extemporaneous Speaking: Paul Plaia
Informative Speaking: Anna Price
Congressional Debate: Paul Plaia
Congressional Debate: Andrew Zach

2018-2019 Qualifiers (Dallas, TX) - 9 qualifiers
Policy Debate: Victoria Turnier & Anthony Ovadje
Policy Debate: Ian Chung & Lianna Homrich
Public Forum Debate: Will Sjostrom & Sophie Verska
Congressional Debate: Will Sjostrom
Congressional Debate: Anthony Ovadje
Informative Speaking: Maggie Nahas

ACHIEVEMENTS

Overall Sweepstakes
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Debate Sweepstakes
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Congress Sweepstakes
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Speech Sweepstakes
2017

Trophy Award
2015

Leading Chapter Award
2016

Student of the Year
2015

All State
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Academic All Americans
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Academic All Americans

Each year, the National Speech & Debate Association honors a small portion of its students as Academic All Americans.  These students have earned at least a degree of Superior Distinction (750 or more points), a GPA higher than 3.7, an ACT score of 27 or higher or a SAT score of 2000 or higher, and display outstanding character on their speech & debate team and in their community.

2013 - Sydney Apple '15
2014 - Liam Torpy '15
2015 - Brandon Fountain '15
2015 - Ananya Malhotra '16
2015 - Noh Mengisteab '16
2016 - Jake Pigott '16
2016 - Liam Kirchner '16
2016 - Thomas Vance '17
2016 - Connor Fraundorf '17
2016 - Duvall Adair '17
2017 - Zoe Elledge '18
2017 - Andrew Zach '18
2017 - Paul Plaia '18
2017 - Drew Sherman '18

District Student of the Year

Every year, the National Speech & Debate Association recognizes one student who best embodies the traits of our Code of Honor: humility, integrity, leadership, respect, and service.

2015 - Sydney Apple '15

All State Team

The National Speech & Debate Association's All State Awards recognize the top 1% of point earners in the state.

2014 - Chandler Apple (3rd)
2014 - Liam Torpy (10th)
2015 - Sydney Apple (1st)
2015 - Liam Torpy (2nd)
2015 - Quang Bui (6th)
2016 - Thomas Vance (5th)
2016 - Duvall Adair (6th)
2016 - Ryan McKenna (10th)
2017 - Thomas Vance (1st)
2017 - Duvall Adair (2nd)
2017 - Connor Fraundorf (5th)
2018 - Paul Plaia (3rd)
2018 - Andrew Zach (8th)
2019 - Will Sjostrom (8th)