The Manhattan High School forensics team won the 6A State High School championship Saturday held at Olathe Northwest.
The team took home the title by tallying 295 points; Shawnee Mission East was second, while Blue Valley North and Topeka High tied for third. MHS Forensics Coach Shawn Rafferty said MHS’ margin of victory was approximately 22 points.
Manhattan was led by senior Linda Pei, who won two individual state championships: one for international extemporaneous speaking and one for informative speech. Pei won both categories last year as well.
Other top finishers:
• Jake Seaton won the state championship in oratorical speaking and was second to Pei in international extemporaneous speaking.
• Lucy Liu took second in domestic extemporaneous speaking and fifth in impromptu speaking.
• Brodie Herrman was third in informative speech.
• Augie Fitch was a semifinalist in international extemporaneous speaking.
• Naomi McClendon was a semifinalist in oratorical speaking.
• Flora Riley was a semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
Other participants on the state-championship team, all of whom Rafferty said contributed points to help the squad win, included:
• Tristan Larson and Macy Lanceta in duo acting. Lanceta also participated in humorous interpretation.
• Mikaela Wefald in domestic extemporaneous speaking and informative speech.
• Hana Hayden in humorous interpretation.
• Brodie Herrman also participated in domestic extemporaneous speaking.
Rafferty said the forensics team won the 6A title in 2008. He said he was unsure if there had been any previous titles in the school’s history; he said there have been five state titles for the debate team. Debate is generally a fall-semester event and forensics — which includes public speaking and dramatic events — occurs in the spring.
To participate in the state championship meet, competitors had to qualify through success at invitational tournaments throughout the season.