Big Win for CDS Speech and Debate
Posted 10/12/2016 10:51AM

Amanda Antal '19 receiving her trophy.


600 competitors braved the wind and rain in Charlotte this weekend for the 14th Annual Viking Classic at North Mecklenberg High School. When the storm passed and the sun came out, two CDS students were among the best assembled. Zoë Eshan ’17 placed second tournament wide in informative speaking, while Amanda Antal ’18 posted a ninth place finish in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate.


CDS was represented by seven students: Zoë Eshan, and Jack Cook ’17, Amanda Antal, Matthew Schultz, David Veach, and Trainer Veach ’18, and Ellie Cross ’19. Accompanying the team was coach Mark Wonnacott.


Zoë built from her experience in dramatic interpretation, taking the input from judges in previous tournaments to help her shape an informative speech on beekeeping. Through a combination of smart writing, savvy delivery, and well-placed bee puns, Zoë impressed each of her judges, missing first place by a single point. “I got to tell awful jokes about bees and inform people about something I care about. Getting the trophy for it was just a bonus,” Zoë said of her performance.


Amanda, competing in her third tournament, faced the third toughest strength of schedule. She lost her first round, against an eventual top-4 finisher, by a single point. She rebounded from this early setback to win three straight rounds,  and her 3-1 record was good for ninth place in a field of more than 50 competitors. “It’s nice to get the recognition after the hard work I’ve put in,” said Amanda.


“The whole team worked hard, overcame their obstacles, and put together a great performance. I’m continually impressed by the effort, energy, and passion these young people put into their craft,” said Wonnacott.


The team next competes at the Charlotte Catholic Queen City Invitational October 22. For questions about the team, please contact Mark Wonnacott at


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