Speech and Debate Dominates State


| Via Norman North Speech And Debate

Norman North and Norman High students attending the OSSAA Speech and Debate State tournament

Last weekend, Norman North Speech and Debate battled out their last moments of this year at State, and took home yet another win. From Thursday April 13th to Friday April 15th, Speech and Debate attended the OSSAA State tournament held at Rose State, the last tournament of this season not including Nationals. Over the course of the year, these students of Speech and Debate persisted past preliminary rounds and heated qualifying tournaments such as Regionals to get a chance to display their skills at State. This year Norman North was entered into 18 events, of which 8 students endured the toughest competition within the State of Oklahoma and made it to finals. “State was a lot of fun,” Ms. Russell said, “the team was very cohesive and supported each other through the whole thing. I’m proud of how we did in and out of the rounds.”

Additionally, out of all the schools in Oklahoma, Norman North won State Champions of two events. Tuqa Alibadi was entered and qualified 4th in Extemporaneous Speaking, but was also titled State Champion in Lincoln Douglas Debate. At the 2022 Nationals, Alibadi ranked 5th in Lincoln Douglas debate securing her reputation as a formidable opponent. However, at Regionals of 2023, Alibadi initially didn’t qualify for State in an unlucky draw at the tournament. Being a backup, she eventually made her way into State and proved her worth yet again by fighting her way to the top. 

On top of that, newly formed Public Forum partners Setayesh Kazempoor and Alexander Papavassiliou cemented their team chemistry and pulled 1st place in their event. While Kazempoor allegedly felt “nothing” prior to the competition, her partner was quite the contrary stating, “I was nervous, we might have gotten clapped. When realizing the amazing feat they accomplished Kazempoor recalled, “It was very tiring,” with Papavassiliou adding, “It was a very happy and bonding time. The whole team felt like a family.” However, this Norman North weapon will not be long-lasting, as this is Kazempoor’s graduating year. With State being their last tournament as a team, Kazempoor said, “I am so proud to represent Norman North for my last moments on the team and I’m glad I was able to make happy memories with my friends.” “I feel like a state Champ,” Papavassiliou declared excitedly recalling their success, “Great things are to come for this team and I’m excited for next year.”