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Lennox student competes at National Speech Tournament

This June 12-16, Lennox High School junior Gunnar Geiken competed at the National Speech and Debate tournament held in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Gunnar competed in international extemporaneous speaking and extemporaneous commentary. He qualified for the national tournament back in March at the Region qualifying tournament. While Gunnar did not break to out rounds, he performed extremely well and nearly broke in extemporaneous commentary- missing the break by one rank.

The national tournament had over 6,000 high school students from all over the United States and some students from other countries competing in a wide range of interpretation, speaking, and debate events. Gunnar was one of about 270 students in international extemporaneous speaking. The event requires a student to prepare a researched speech on a question related to events occurring internationally. Once the students receive their question, they will have 30 minutes to research and prepare their speech. They then will give the speech without the use of any notes.

This is Gunnar’s third time qualifying for the national tournament, and he has the opportunity to be the first 4-time qualifier for Lennox High School. Gunnar has participated in Lincoln-Douglas debate, World’s School debate, and now International Extemporaneous speaking. Earlier this year, Gunnar placed second in international extemporaneous speaking in the “A” division and was the state champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

His coach, Michael Larson, said, “This was a great experience for Gunnar and a strong showing. He walked out of nationals with a clear desire to be back next year and break to the top 60. It was great to see such amazing speakers and I know it will make him better heading into his senior year.” The national tournament will be held in Des Moines, Iowa in 2024 and 2025.


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