Community Education

11 from Gig Harbor speech and debate team headed to nationals

Posted on April 5th, 2023 By:

Eleven members of Gig Harbor High School’s speech and debate team qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held in June in Phoenix.

In January, coach Chris Coovert predicted up to seven Tides debaters might make the cut, but his team greatly exceeded his expectation. The 11 Gig Harbor debaters qualified during a March 4-5 at Auburn Riverside High School.

The Gig Harbor Speech & Debate Team celebrates taking second at the state speech tournament March 11 at the University of Puget Sound.

The team also finished second in the state speech tournament on March 11 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Gig Harbor won state speech championships in 2017 through 2019, but Coovert had expected 2023 to be more of a rebuilding year.

Among several individual winners from Gig Harbor, Kit Wood took first place for dramatic interpretation (and fourth for humorous interpretation); Alexa Kotansky took first in programmed oral interpretation (and third in dramatic interpretation).

There were also several winners at the state debate tournament March 17-18 at the University of Puget Sound.

Students who qualified for nationals include:

  • Nichole Tian and Ellis Adamson: Public Forum Debate
  • Emily Negron: Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Matt Embick: Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Kit Wood: Dramatic Interpretation
  • Autumn Coovert: Dramatic Interpretation
  • Alexa Kotansky: Programmed Oral Interpretation
  • Madison Clement and Isabella Puccio: Duo Interpretation
  • Natalie Behnke: Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Logan Thomas: Extemporaneous Speaking

Gig Harbor Speech & Debate students celebrate, as 11 members of the team make the cut for the National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held in June in Phoenix, Arizona.