The Gahanna Lincoln High School speech and debate team won the Western Ohio National Forensic League national qualifier and will send five students to the national tournament in Birmingham, Ala., in June.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School speech and debate team won the Western Ohio National Forensic League national qualifier and will send five students to the national tournament in Birmingham, Ala., in June.

Senior Dennis Johnson placed first in United States extemporaneous speaking, competing through six rounds to earn his second trip to nationals.

Seniors Dan Moore and Garet Camella placed second in duo interpretation and will compete at nationals.

The senior public forum debate team of Brian Leopold and Joe Wills also qualified for national competition.

Lincoln Douglas debater Aaron Gyde, a junior, was selected for the second alternate slot to nationals, while juniors Gram Bowsher and Todd Ives were first alternates in public forum debate.

Bowsher and Ives earned a state qualification slot and will join 11 other members of the GLHS team for the state tournament in March.

Anand Kumar, Tom Pinney, Andy Rhiel and Daniel Rajczyk also placed in the top eight of their events.

Overall, Gahanna placed first of 17 teams, in addition to hosting the two-day event.

This is the tenth year in a row that Gahanna has qualified students for national competition, and the first year it has qualified a record number of five.

The national tournament will be held June 14-20 in Birmingham, Ala. The team will accept donations to help defray the cost of the tournament.

Lyle Linerode is the head coach of all events. Kristen Juth assists with individual events and Kristin Rosan assists with debate.