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Needham debaters celebrate state success

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The Needham Speech and Debate celebrated the “debate” part of its name by capturing its second successive novice Lincoln-Douglas championship at Chelmsford High School.

Freshman Sasha Reiser defeated Brookline High School in the finals, and was also third place speaker overall. Sophomore Zachary Lu, last year’s novice champion, reached quarterfinals and was second place speaker in varsity Lincoln-Douglas. Sophomore Will Conway reached quarters in novice Lincoln-Douglas. Noah Basson and Conway were the sixth and eighth place speakers in novice. Senior Jackson Segal and sophomores Sam Cogen, John Lively and Jon Warn also successfully braved varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, while sophomore Eric Xu and ninth grader Mira Echambadi performed at a high level in novice. In public forum, junior Nina Yee and sophomore Kelsey Rondini did well, while also organizing a vibrant seminar on gender.

Judges for Needham, in addition to coaches Adam Nir and Paul Wexler, included parents Craig Basson, Malathi Echambadi, and Yan Yuan. The speech and debate team will move forward towards the state championships in speech in two weeks at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.

Coach Paul Wexler stated that the depth of the team and "helpfulness of students for one another" played a major role in the team's success.

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