Roosevelt Wins Championship at State Debate Tournament

Members of the Roosevelt debate team pose with their State Championship trophy.

Roosevelt High School’s debate team earned the state championship Sweepstakes Trophy for the second consecutive year at the Iowa High School Speech Association’s (IHSSA) State Debate Tournament. The event was held January 6 and 7 at the DMACC campus in Ankeny.

“This year’s Roosevelt High School debate team has some very young members, but we are competing with the state’s and the nation’s best,” said Harry Strong, debate coach at Roosevelt. “It has been a very exciting year so far, and we have many students who are ranked nationally in their debate categories.”

Roosevelt won the Sweepstakes Trophy with a total of 210 points. Other top five teams were West Des Moines Valley (183 points), Ankeny (176 points), Dowling (165 points), and Indianola (159 points). Other Des Moines high schools which competed at the tournament were East, which finished 12th overall, Lincoln (17th) and Hoover (24th).

Roosevelt students with top finished in the individual events at the IHSSA state tournament include:

  • Senior Max Hardt and junior Madison Holmes were crowned champions in Public Forum Debate;
  • Sophomore Luke Theuma was the runner-up in Congress Debate;
  • Seniors Samantha Gerleman and Kayleigh Courard-Hauri were semi-finalists in Public Forum Debate;
  • Junior Karina Foster-Middleton finished in sixth place in Congress Debate.

In addition, other Des Moines high school students also received high marks at the state tournament, including:

  • East High School senior Ben Frazier finished fourth in Congress Debate;
  • East High School junior Miles Menninga finished eighth in Congress debate;
  • Hoover High School sophomore Amra Softic and junior Thanh Lai finished in the top 20 for Student Congress.