The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Sophomore places fifth in state forensics

Sophomore Arjun Padiyar proudly holds his fifth place medal at the 2024 Forensics State Tournament. Photo used with permission from Kim Bedinger.

Ocean Lakes student Arjun Padiyar comes in fifth in the Class Five VHSL Forensics State Tournament. 

Forensics is a sport where students competitively use their speaking skills in front of an audience. It is divided into multiple categories such as prose, poetry, humorous interpretation, dramatic interpretation and impromptu, etc. 

Arjun competed in the impromptu category in which he had seven minutes to make and deliver a speech on a random topic. 

“During the tournament, I felt nervous in the first round, but got more confident with my next rounds,” said Arjun. 

All season, he practiced impromptu with forensics coach Kim Bedinger. 

“Bedinger would pull up past competition topics and give me three to choose from. I would pick one and write a quick speech on it and then present it to her and receive feedback,” said Arjun. 

As tournaments such as states neared, Arjun visited Bedinger’s class more frequently, typically during lunch to seek additional practice.

“His ability to think on his feet, articulate thoughts coherently and captivate audiences with his spontaneous speech demonstrates both his dedication to the art of public speaking and his innate talent in communication,” said Principal Claire LeBlanc. 

His teammates admire all of his hard work. 

“I would say Arjun is super dedicated. He practiced every week and he definitely deserved to come in fifth,” said junior Samara Desy. “Arjun worked really hard and the whole team is proud of how far he got.” 

He plans to strive and improve his placement next year. 

“When I found out I got fifth, I was a little disappointed in myself because I was trying for top three,” said Arjun. “I got over it pretty quickly though and decided to work harder to try and place higher next year.” 

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About the Contributor
Ari O'Brien
Ari O'Brien, Staff Writer
Ari O'Brien is a junior and a second-year journalism student. Outside of school, she enjoys doing competitive gymnastics, traveling, watching the sunset and spending time with family and friends.

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