Hilltalkers Have Excellent Showing In State Championships

Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers. Photo Courtesy LAPS


The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers had an excellent showing at the State Speech and Debate Championship and the State Congressional Debate Championship, earning a New Mexico Speech and Debate Overall School of Excellence Award for earning the most team points throughout the state championship. This is the eighth year in a row that the team received this award.

“All of the Hilltalkers who competed at State helped earn this award by winning rounds and overall participation,” said long-time coach Margo Batha. “Each and every Hilltalker competitor contributed to this award.”

Tacarra Lake also coaches the Hilltalkers. Sherri Bublitz is the Hawktalkers coach, which is the Speech and Debate team at Los Alamos Middle School.  Hilltalkers benefit each year from the experience they receive on the middle school team.  “Many times, it’s our own alum who beat us out of awards,” stated Bublitz. “Of the 14 Hilltalkers who won awards at State this year, 11 were part of the talkers’ team.  It’s fabulous to see so many students continue to learn and grow in their abilities! They make me so proud!”

Senior Yunseo Kim won first place in the Program Oral Interpretation. She is a four-time first place award winner.

Here is a list of award winners:

State Congressional Debate

1st place House – Uxue Sansinena

4th place House – Max Posada

6th place House -Luke Creel

3rd place Senate – Luke Favorite

4th place Senate – Minthet Htoon

State Lincoln Douglas Debate

3rd place Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate – Max Posada

3rd place Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate – Alyssa Sun

3rd place Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate – Linnthet Htoon

State Speech Individual Events

1st place Program Oral Interpretation – Yunseo Kim 

2nd place Program Oral Interpretation – Matthea Fung

1st place Duo Interpretation – Rylee Mecham and Keturah Sherrill

2nd place Dramatic Interpretation – Carina Lanier

3rd place Humorous Interpretation – Emily Xu

6th place United States Extemporaneous Speaking – Luke Favorite

Two Hilltalkers were the recipients of Special Awards. Luke Favorite received the Lockhart-Henry Presiding Officer Award in Congressional Debate, and Alyssa Sun-Bennett received the Top Speaker Award in Lincoln Douglas Debate for the highest speaking points earned in preliminary rounds of Lincoln Douglas Debate.