Collierville student places in national speech and debate tournament

Collierville student places in national speech and debate tournament

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - A Collierville High School student has been named one of the top debaters in the country.

Emma Capitanelli placed 6th overall in the Impromptu category at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Birmingham.

The competition was held June 18-23 with more than 4,000 qualifying competitors, according to the National Speech & Debate Association.

Combined, the top placing students took home more than $200,000 in scholarship money.

Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association J. Scott Wunn said only three percent of speech and debate competitors qualify for the national tournament.

"… Less than one percent of speech and debate students can call themselves a national champion," Wunn said.

Capitanelli, who just graduated from Collierville High School, was coached by Mickey Hutson and Jeffrey D. Robbins, and finished sixth in the impromptu category of more than 600 students.

She was also 45th in the country in original oratory, and was a state finalist three out of her four years in high school.

Capitanelli will attend the University of Alabama on a scholarship, and will compete with the school's nationally ranked speech team.

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