Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Riverside High Speech and Debate TeamCongratulations to Riverside High School for winning both the AAAAA championship and the overall sweepstakes award at the South Carolina Speech and Debate Coaches’ Association State Tournament held at Riverside High School on March 2nd.  With this win, Riverside has earned its eighth consecutive state title. The state tournament makes the culmination of a season of victories: the Warriors went undefeated in North and South Carolina this year. In addition to winning the overall prize, Riverside students won several individual champions in both speech and debate divisions. 

In speech, the champions are senior Ian Chiu in Informative Speaking, junior Shalyn Drakeford in Children’s Literature, senior Phillip Martin in Program Oral Interpretation, sophomore Miriam Meyer in Declamation, senior Stephan Voelk in Impromptu Speaking, and senior Rohit Yarlagadda in Expository Speaking.  Freshmen William Lovin and Israel Paramo were named novice champions in Duo Interpretation. Freshman Nihal Kaura was named novice champion in Extemporaneous Speaking. Sophomore Laurel Holley serves as student director for speech. 

In debate, the champions are the team of junior Janine D’Souza and senior Matthew Yoon in Public Forum Debate, sophomore Cameron Tsai in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate, and senior Parth Vashi in Congressional Debate. Vashi was also named Congress’s Best Presiding Officer. Sophomores Grace Holland and Kritika Sethi were named Novice Champions in Public Forum Debate. Junior Ivana Ramirez serves as student director for debate. 

Team captains for the Riverside Team are seniors Ian Chiu and Talia Samard.

A complete list of Riverside award winners follows:

  • Cameron Tsai, 1st in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate—Champion
  • Emily Rafka, 3rd in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate—Semifinalist
  • Jonathan Rogers, 5th in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate—Quarterfinalist
  • Whitney Hudson, 6th in Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate—Quarterfinalist


  • Madaline Allen, 2nd in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate—Finalist
  • Elizabeth Dods, 5th in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate—Quarterfinalist
  • Joe Allen, 6th in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate—Quarterfinalist


  • Janine D’Souza and Matthew Yoon, 1st in Public Forum Debate—Champions 
  • Jaimie McKeel and Pratamesh Ramasubramanian, 2nd in Public Forum Debate—Finalists
  • Grace Holland and Kritika Sethi, 4th in Public Forum Debate—Semifinalists, Novice Champions
  • Rohan Bafna and Arjun Gramopadhye, 5th in Public Forum Debate—Quarterfinalists


  • Ivana Ramirez, 2nd in Extemporaneous Speaking—Finalist 
  • Raghed Abdel-Tawab, 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking—Finalist 
  • Laurel Holley, 4th in Extemporaneous Speaking—Finalist 
  • Priyanka Shah, 5th in Extemporaneous Speaking—Finalist
  • Nihal Kaura, Novice Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking


  • Elizabeth Sanchez, 2nd in Original Oratory—Finalist 
  • Ivana Ramirez, 3rd in Original Oratory—Finalist 
  • Ian Chiu, 4th in Original Oratory—Finalist 


  • Emma  Dell Fletcher, 3rd in Humorous Interpretation—Finalist
  • Alexis Celaya, 4th in Humorous Interpretation—Finalist
  • Zac Simpson, 5th in Humorous Interpretation—Finalist
  • Ryan Du, 6th in Humorous Interpretation—Finalist 


  • Phillip Martin, 1st in Program Oral Interpretation—Champion
  • Emma Dell Fletcher, 2nd in Program Oral Interpretation—Finalist
  • Shalyn Drakeford, 3rd in Program Oral Interpretation—Finalist
  • Elizabeth Sanchez, 5th in Program Oral Interpretation—Finalist 
  • Spatika Gowda, 6th in Program Oral Interpretation—Finalist


  • Ian Chiu, 1st in Informative Speaking—Champion
  • Deepthi Prabhakar, 3rd in Informative Speaking—Finalist
  • Silvana Cuervo, 4th in Informative Speaking—Finalist
  • Rohit Yarlagadda, 5th in Informative Speaking-Finalist


  • Emma Dell Fletcher and Phillip Martin, 3rd in Duo Interpretation—Finalists
  • Will Lovin and Israel Paramo—5th in Duo Interpretation—Finalists, Novice Champions
  • Tarun Giridhar and Kelsey Park—6th in Duo Interpretation—Finalists


  • Shalyn Drakeford, 1st in Children’s Literature—Champion
  • Miriam Meyer, 2nd in Children’s Literature—Finalist 


  • Will Lovin, 2nd in Novice Reading—Finalist
  • Israel Paramo, 4th in Novice Reading—Finalist


  • Stephan Voelk, 1st in Impromptu—Champion
  • Priyanka Shah, 2nd in Impromptu—Finalist
  • Raghed Abdel-Tawab, 3rd in Impromptu—Finalist


  • Miriam Meyer, 1st in Declamation—Champion
  • Anna Hickey, 2nd in Declamation—Finalist
  • Sarah Tra, 4th in Declamation—Finalist
  • Logan Jones, 6th in Declamation—Finalist


  • Rohit Yarlagadda, 1st in Expository Speaking—Champion
  • Ian Chiu, 2nd in Expository Speaking—Finalist
  • Shreya Tellur, 3rd in Expository Speaking—Finalist 
  • Rijul Bhardwaj, 4th in Expository Speaking—Finalist 
  • Varshitha Karveti, 6th in Expository Speaking—Finalist 


  • Phillip Martin, 2nd in Prose—Finalist


  • Parth Vashi, 1st in Congressional Debate—Champion and Best Presiding Officer
  • Joa Sanchez, 2nd in Congressional Debate—Finalist
  • Jay Bhatia, 4th in Congressional Debate—Finalist
  • Pitcha Amphan, 6th in Congressional Debate—Finalist

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