Debaters from Hickman take third place in Ritenour Tournament


Two Hickman students took third place at the Ritenour Tournament in St. Louis, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 – 16.

The Ritenour Tournament is a place for speech and debate students to compete in a variety of events, such as prose, storytelling and debate.

Partners Mark Won and Tanner Smith, both members of Hickman’s speech and debate team, went through six rounds of debate in the varsity public forum before they were given their results.

Both Won and Smith also participated independently in other events at the tournament.

Smith, a junior at Hickman, entered the radio event. In one five minute speech, he had to cover an international, national and local news story, a sports announcement and a commercial. All the events he covered had to occur within 24 hours of his speech — leaving him only that time to prepare.

Encouraged by past English teachers to join debate, Smith hopes to make it to this year’s District Tournament.  After high school he plans to attend college to study architectural engineering.

Smith’s partner, Mark Won, competed in the Congress event at the tournament. For Congress, he was given a list of bills and had to present the negation and affirmation of each bill.

“It’s not real, but it gives a really good representation of, hopefully, my future career as a congressman,” Won said.

He also wants to one day be a lawyer and may pursue his childhood dream of becoming district attorney.

Won has been on the Hickman speech and debate team for two years and said he joined because people often told him how well he spoke.

Won, whose parents are from Korea, also joined because he wanted a place to talk about the things that interested him.

“I like to present my opinions on certain matters and since my parents were limited in this field, and language as well, I took shelter in debate class to find out what I do well and what I do best,” Won said. “So far it has met all the joy I could receive.”


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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, Parkade

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