Emory Quarterfinalists Allison Elfer and Jessica Styres, with Coach Rachel Clapper (left).
Emory Quarterfinalists Allison Elfer and Jessica Styres, with Coach Rachel Clapper (left).
The Madison Central Speech and Debate Team competed at Emory University's Barkley Forum for High Schools this past weekend. The tournament consisted of 212 schools from 31 states and attracts some of the most intense competition from across the country. The tournament is also considered to be the most prestigious tournament in the Southeast.

In the speech division, MC Speech and Debate's Interpretative Event Captain Allison Elfer earned two quarterfinal spots at the tournament. She earned the famous Emory University "key" for her top 24 placement in both Dramatic Interpretation and Prose/Poetry Interpretation.

Team Manager Jessica Styres earned a top 24 quarterfinal spot in Original Oratory at the tournament, an event she has won numerous times in Mississippi this year.

Meanwhile, in debate, Jackson Day and Parth Malaviya made it to the triple-octofinal round on a 4-2 record debating Catalan Independence.

The team now prepares to compete at the National Speech and Debate Association's Congressional Debate Qualifier before attending tournaments at the University of Southern Mississippi and Harvard University.

Last month, the team won Overall Sweepstakes at the Oxford High School Charger Challenge. The team beat out 15 other teams for first place.

In debate, Kelsey Mayhan was named the champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and the team of Malaviya and Day earned second in Public Forum Debate.

In Congressional Debate, Jessica Styres earned the first place spot. MC Debate also had two other finalists in Congressional Debate, as well as semifinalists in Public Forum Debate.

The team also garnered huge success in speech events at the tournament. Styres earned first place in Original Oratory, as well as earning second place in Informative Speaking. The Duo Interpretation team of Maeve Rigney and Conner McMillin earned first place in their event at the tournament, after earning first place in each round. The team had numerous finalists and semifinalists in all but one of the speech events offered at the tournament.