CX team makes finals at state


the typical post-competition victory photo had to take place without medals to show off. In a year of COVID and virtual debate, they will be mailed. Freshman Nicollette Arabie and junior Omar Almeida made it to finals, earning octafinal medals.

April Martinez, Reporter

Fresh off of spring break, freshman Nicollette Arabie and junior Omar Almeida tackled their next debate challenge – State CX. While virtual has been the norm for the speech team this year, it didn’t stop the nervous jitters. 

“It never gets easier when we start debating,” Arabie said. “You kind of just get used to the pressure.” 

UIL State Speech Director Jana Riggins introduced the contest managers during the awards ceremony as usual, but she did it via Zoom from Waco rather than in the UTC at UT, as usual.

Arabie and Almeida qualified for state after they placed first in the district meet. The pair went 3-1 in Monday’s preliminary rounds and moved to finals on Tuesday. They lost out at the octafinal round. 

“We were hoping to place higher, but I’m still proud that we placed,” Almeida said. “I just hope we can compete in person next year. It’s way more exciting than sitting in the library.”

Learning the ins and outs of debating on the computer screen instead of face to face was a challenge for the year, and the team didn’t compete as much in the fall because of that.

“Hopefully next year, we can go back to in-person tournaments for practices,” debate teacher Melonie Menefee said. “The pandemic made our competitions more stressful, but I’m still proud of them for working hard despite COVID.”