Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Expectations are high on the team, the defending California and National champions, which has come to epitomize high school forensics. So when the team finishes in second place, as it did this weekend at the State championships in Rocklin, what would be reason for celebration at nearly every other school in the state is instead reason for regretful reflection.
Only two points separated the team from the championship, eked out by rival Bellarmine, a tiny margin in the forensics world, but mighty painful nonetheless. The score was 153 to 151.
For complete results, click here.
Still, there must be some joy on a team which produces five state champions: Candace Nguyen in Thematic Interpretation; Daniel Drake in Oral Interpretation; Seema Rupani in Humorous Interpretation, and the team of Clinton Pierce and Johnathan Harris in Duo Interpretation.
Coming in second in the state were Taron Grizzel in Humorous Interpretation, Shefali Tandon in International Extemp, Anthony Pascua in National Extemp, Tran Ngo in Dramatic Interpretation, brothers Idrees Najibi and Skender Najibi in Duo Interpretation, and the team of Johnny Lin and Akash Pradhan in Team Debate.
Pascua was second to Bellarmine's Brian Stephan, despite winning the final round. If those two had reversed positions, the two teams would have tied for the championship. In the final round of the event, three of the five judges placed Pascua first, and two had Stephan first, but Stephan won the event because of higher scores in previous rounds.
In the finals of the International Extemp, Tandon finished second to Akshay Rao of Leland High School of San Jose, even though Tandon was ranked first by three judges, and only one ranked Rao first. However, that same judge ranked Tandon seventh, giving the victory to Rao.
Victoria Tran and Vincent Vo placed fourth and seventh in Original Advocacy, Daniel Mesghina was sixth in Original Oratory, and Courier reporter Alexis Ratcliffe placed sixth in Expository. Mijamin Starks placed fourth in Oratorical Interpretation; Eric Trabuco was seventh in the event. Jose Tanquilut took third in National Extemp and Chris Nicholson was seventh in Impromptu. Austin Ashford took fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and Dominique Washington was fifth.
The team of Kyle Curson and Jeremiah Johnson made it to the semifinals in Public Forum debate.
Logan's 151 points would have been the record for most points ever amassed by one school, but Bellarmine holds the new record instead.
"It was a tough tournament," said assistant coach Tim Campbell. "Getting 151 points in any other year would have been a landslide victory. This year it was only good enough for second, so our kids have nothing to be ashamed of."
The team is now looking forward to closing out its season at two upcoming National tournaments.
"We hope to do better there," Campbell said.
In 2005, the James Logan Forensics team, with over 200 members, became the largest and most successful team in the history of the National Forensic League, winning the California State Tournament and the unofficial National Forensic League Championship, while also sending the highest number of competitors to those respective tournaments, according to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.