#20 Amy Cao of Ridge High School (NJ) won the first two National Points Race tournaments at the beginning of the season and she returned to her winning ways last weekend in Chicago, Illinois when the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) held its Grand National Tournament. Cao, who was runner-up at last year’s NCFL Grand Nationals, won a commanding victory, doubling up her nearest competitor, Max Smith of Ronald Reagan High School (WI), in cumulative ranks to win her first national championship.

Cao has won each time she has made a National Points Race final round this year. Her victory is the first time in a decade that a New Jersey extemper wins the NCFL National Championship as Monica Coscia of Montville Township High School won in 2014.

There was a three-way tie for second place between Smith, #8 Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA), and Noah Darby of St. Thomas More Catholic High School (LA). The tie way broken based on final round performance, with Smith beating Burris by one rank and Burris beating Darby by two ranks for third place. Burris was the highest ranked competitor in the field and, like Cao, was also in finals last year. This was Burris’ third top three finish in a National Points Race tournament and her fifth National Points Race finals appearance this season.

Vasu Lakshmanan of Shrewsbury High School (MA), who reached Yale finals in the fall, placed fifth in their second National Points Race finals appearance of the season. Lakshmanan finished three cumulative ranks clear of sixth place finisher Chloe Leng of the Hawken School (OH), who was a finalist at the Florida Blue Key in October.

Some other notable finishers were #14 Siri Ural of Shrewsbury, who dropped in semi-finals after reaching finals at last year’s national tournament. #24 Kajal Parmar of Cary Academy (NC) reached quarter-finals and #21 Nick Pienkos of Marquette University High School (WI) dropped in octa-finals.

Cao will earn 150 points for her victory because the Grand National Tournament is a second tier event. All extempers who reached elimination round will earn points. New National Points Race standings will be posted next week.

Here are the results of the 2024 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

National Champion: Amy Cao (Ridge High School, New Jersey)
2nd: Max Smith (Ronald Reagan High School, Wisconsin)
3rd: Taylor Burris (The Potomac School, Virginia)
4th: Noah Darby (St. Thomas More Catholic High School, Louisiana)
5th: Vasu Lakshmanan (Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts)
6th: Chloe Leng (The Hawken School, Ohio)


*Vishnu Angiras (Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts)
*Camden Fallon (Muriel W. Battle High School, Missouri)
*Stephen Frank (Whitmer High School, Ohio)
*Claire Han (Munster High School, Indiana)
*Vahin Kakarla (Olentangy High School, Ohio)
*Siri Ural (Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts)


*Mira Carpenter (Pine View School, Florida)
*Aparna Iyer (Ridge High School, New Jersey)
*Saathvik Kannan (Columbia-Hickman High School, Missouri)
*Layden Kennedy (Scarsdale High School, New York)
*Brynja Lockman (Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Minnesota)
*Zara Miller (Durham Academy, North Carolina)
*Henry Pahlow (Denmark High School, Wisconsin)
*Kajal Parmar (Cary Academy, North Carolina)
*Navya Raju (Ridge High School, New Jersey)
*Tea Shouldice (Half Hollow Hills High School East, New York)


*Jack Catten (Cottonwood High School, Utah)
*Tavishi Chakraborty (Eden Prairie High School, Minnesota)
*Prachi Chetlur (Upper St. Clair High School, Pennsylvania)
*Jordan Daniels (Lincoln High School, Missouri)
*Malk El-Abtah (Syosset High School, New York)
*John Germak (Regis High School, New York)
*Max Goldstein (Syosset High School, New York)
*Arya Goyal (Scarsdale High School, New York)
*Valerie Gu (Milton Academy, Massachusetts)
*Daniel Hiles (Rockhurst High School, Missouri)
*Jolie Lehrman (Florida Atlantic University High School, Florida)
*Kat Mulgrew (Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Minnesota)
*Nick Pienkos (Marquette University High School, Wisconsin)
*Andrew Romitti (Rock Bridge High School, Missouri)
*Ishaan Sharma (Upper St. Clair High School, Pennsylvania)
*Corisa Tapp (Lebanon High School, Missouri)
*Nathan Thomas (La Salle College High School, Pennsylvania)
*Venya Tiwari (Millburn High School, New Jersey)
*Eshaal Ubaid (Stuyvesant High School, New York)
*Meredith Vorndran (The Potomac School, Virginia)
*Hayden Watkins (Rowan County Senior High School, Kentucky)
*Madeline White (Gwynedd Mercy High School, Pennsylvania)
*Ella Witalec (Laurel School, Ohio)
*Nicholas Zylstra (Eastview High School, Minnesota)

Extemp Central thanks the National Catholic Forensic League for posting the results of the tournament online.