Millburn Sophomore Finishes Sixth in National Forensics League Championships
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 • 5:22pm
MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn sophomore Chase Harrison finished in sixth place out of 255 competitors in the extemporaneous speech category at the National Forensics League National Championships held in Indianapolis from June 10-15.
Harrison has excelled this year as a member of the Millburn Forensics Team, recently finishing in second place at the Tournament of Champions in Extemporaneous Speaking held at Northwestern University in Chicago in May, an invite-only event recognized as one of the most competitive tournaments of the year. Harrison also finished second at the New Jersey State Championships, and won the Yale Invitational early this year. He has clearly distinguished himself as one of the top extemporaneous speakers in the nation.
In the extemporaneous speaking event, the competitor is given a question on any domestic or international policy issue or current event. They then have only 30 minutes to prepare a memorized seven-minute speech on the topic. Students prepare for this seemingly impossible task by researching current events in dozens of newspapers, magazines and academic journals, as well as practicing their speaking skills at training sessions.
Harrison's question in the final round at the National championships last week was "Should we be concerned about 2012 being the most negative campaign in our nation’s history?" Due to the magnitude of the event, it was streamed live over the Internet. Members of the Millburn Forensics team, as well as other faculty members and students, gathered to watch at the High School.
The Millburn Forensics Team is one of the largest in the school, with nearly one hundred active members. It is coached by Millburn Social Studies Teacher Michael Paul. Students compete throughout the year in a variety of speech and debate activities at local and national tournaments throughout the country. The team has been recognized as one of the best in the state, finishing sixth overall at the State Championships this year, and has found success at a variety of national tournaments around the country. Students interested in the team can come to their first meeting in early September next school year.