Christensen qualifies for national speech and debate competition

Alecx Christensen is not your average high school student. He sets his goals high and tends to achieve them. Christensen, a junior at Rocky Mountain High School, has been competing with the speech and debate team for three years and enjoys the challenge of participating in some of the more difficult events, like Congress and the Lincoln-Douglas Debate, that require a lot of research and preparation.

Christensen said he was “quiet” as a freshman. He gave basketball a try but found out quickly that it wasn’t a good sport for him, so he turned to the speech and debate team as an alternative. He quickly found it to be his niche and soared in the competitions.

Alecx Christensen plans to compete in the “World Schools Debate” at the National Speech and Debate competition in Birmingham, Ala., in June of this year.
Courtesy Photo

Christensen won this year’s state champion title in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, along with several other respectable placings. He also won first alternate at the Wind River District national qualifying meet held in Casper last weekend. As an alternate, Christensen is eligible to compete in the “World Schools Debate” at the national competition in Birmingham, Ala., June 18-23, a unique event not seen on the team’s regular competitive circuit. In fact, it’s so rare that a student qualifies for the event that Christensen is still figuring out how the competition works.

“I know they give us a topic 30 minutes in advance and then we compete for about an hour and a half,” he explained. “It’s a comprehensive debate for sure and includes random questions.”

He said the list of topics is broad and he’s not sure what, if any, resources will be made available to prepare at the event, so he plans to become somewhat familiar with as many of the topics on the list as he can in advance of the event.

“We’re blazing new ground with this,” said Christensen. “I was told Wyoming hasn’t even made it to the preliminaries before.”

Only a select number of students qualify to go to Nationals. Christensen and a handful of other students from the state are eligible to compete. He said he is determined to attend and will most likely hold some fundraisers to pay for the costs, if necessary.

Christensen plans to attend college at either Brigham Young University or at Utah State University. Since he plans to go into politics someday, he hopes to land an internship during his college years with the Utah State Legislature. He said he plans to major in business and to work in the business field for a while before he goes into politics so he will have “something to offer” based on his experience.

By Patti Carpenter