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Raytown Central Middle School

Raytown High debaters achieve a high-ranking finish at national tournament
Raytown High debaters achieve a high-ranking finish at national tournament
Posted on 06/22/2016

Raytown High School debaters Israel Hanke and Romeo Bagunu finished second in the United States bracket and third in the International bracket of the Public Forum Debate competition at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Hanke and Bagunu, among seven other duos, were undefeated in the preliminary rounds and were victorious in two out of three elimination rounds in the United States bracket before suffering a defeat in the third and final elimination round. The duo defeated teams from California, Texas, Japan, China, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Mark Harris, the coach of the Talking Bluejays, related the duo’s accomplishments to an inspirational saying that guides the team.

“There is a banner at the front of our debate room.  It says, ‘Championships are won with practice and preparation. The trophies are picked up at the tournament.’ Israel and Romeo took this seriously.  I have rarely seen a debate team work so hard to achieve their goals.”

This was the duo’s second time competing in the National tournament.

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