The Ridge Forensics team, Ridge High School’s interscholastic speech and debate team, started their 2013-2014 season by taking the first place team championship title at the 21st annual Yale University invitational.
That is even before the 12-time state championship forensics teams begins its New Jersey season later this month.
At Yale University, the Ridge team claimed the highest honor at the tournament after taking third place in 2012. Ridge last won the event in 2010.
Senior Connor Murphy was awarded the tournament championship title in Congressional Debate. Seniors Michael Cervino and Atreya Misra also placed in the top five of the 156 students competing in the event.
In addition, sophomore Vaikunth Balaji took fourth place honors in Extemporaneous Speaking and the Public Forum team of Saloni Singhvi and Davis George advanced to the quarterfinal level, placing them in the top eight of the 240 teams in the event.
David Yastremski, director of the Ridge Forensics program, said, “Yale is always our season kick-off. Many of the schools from other states who attend the tournament have been in school for almost a month and actively competing. It’s a true credit to our students who work hard to achieve the national standard this early in the academic year.”
Other Ridge students advancing into the elimination rounds included seniors Sabina Razak, Jack Wilson, Michelle Zhao, Brinda Gurumoorthy, Darius Hunt, Kevin Yang, Sunjay Melkote, Nikhil Kapadia, Deepantshu Singhvi, Danny Van Nest, Ankit Wadhwa, Arianna Montero Colbert, and Kaitlin Smalling, juniors Matt Hansen, Allison Shim, Oliver Tang, Asli Peckan, Sejal Waghray, Avni Mahagaokar, Nidhi Mahagaokar, Jasmine Xie, Tim O’Shea, and sophomores Adithya Sheth and Timothy Tang,
Ridge will attend another national event at the Bronx High School of Science in October before the team's New Jersey season beings on October 26th at Millburn High School and Phillipsburg High School.