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AHS debate team tops in Eugene tourney

The Ashland High School Speech and Debate Team won top awards at the University of Oregon Robert D. Clark Invitational, held Feb. 21-22 in Eugene.

The invitational is one of the largest speech and debate tournaments in the Pacific Northwest, with 40 schools from Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia.

The Ashland Grizzlies won both the debate sweepstakes as well as the individual events speaking sweepstakes to claim the overall team prize, according to coach Robert Bingham.

AHS made the finals in both divisions of policy debate. Rob Stallman and Kleya Dhenin took second in junior division and Grady Killeen and freshman Gracia Dodds won open division.

Erin Stewart made semifinals in open division Lincoln Douglas debate in her first year of competition.

Brielle Preskenis and Fielding Picton made semifinals in Parliamentary Debate.

Cass Anderson cleaned up in individual events (Poetry and Expository) and made quarterfinals in debate with her partner Joe Livni.

Freshmen Shayne Sills and Henry Mercer made quarterfinals in junior division Public Forum Debate.

Amy Laws took second place in open division Radio Commentary, one of the most crowded events of the tournament, Bingham said.

Brayden Preskenis and Percy Holtzman made octafinals in junior Parliamentary Debate.

In addition to his debate success, Rob Stallman broke to finals and placed in two individual speaking events.

Emma Culhane took second in junior division Expository Speaking.

Bingham said one of the highlights during the invitational came when tournament director and former AHS debater Ben Dodds presented the first-place trophy in policy debate to his little sister Gracia.