CHARLOTTE – The North Mecklenburg High Debate and Speech Team placed sixth overall in the Laird Lewis Invitational Tournament on Jan. 4 and 5.

The team of 33 students faced more than a thousand other competitors on 57 teams from 17 states. In speech competitions, senior Colleen Watson took third in Original Oratory and Second in Impromptu Speaking; senior Taylor Barrett made quarterfinals in Original Oratory and Impromptu Speaking; Junior Alex Pope made quarterfinals in Impromptu Speaking; Junior Emily Yue took fifth in Oral Interpretation; and ninth-grader Jack Watson made semifinals in Oratorical Declamation.

In debate competitions, junior Thomas Thornton made octofinals in Lincoln-Douglas debate; the novice Public Forum team of 10th-grader Nick Macri and ninth-grader Eric Thorsheim made quarterfinals; all three novice Student Congress competitors – Raniah Jeanlys, Kavasia Heath and Kailyn Price – advanced to the final round, and Raniah Jeanlys took seventh place overall; Colleen Watson also came in fourth for the Mustang Award, given to the student who accumulates the highest number of sweepstakes points.