Six Abilene AISD speech and debate students placed in the top 15 in the state at the 2018 UIL Congress State Meet held Jan. 8-10 at the University of Texas in Austin.

Three students from Cooper High School qualified for the Class 5A state finals, while Abilene High (two students) and ATEMS (one student) competed in Class 6A. A total of 54 students in each classification competed in the state meet after qualifying at the regional level.

Kenley Young of Cooper led all AISD students by placing 11th in the 5A competition, followed by classmates Spencer Wilson (13th) and Sammy Guadarrama (15th).

In Class 6A, Cage Reed led the way with a 12th place statewide finish, while Makayne Favor of AHS was 13th and Sonia Liu of AHS placed 15th.

Seth Pietsek serves as speech and debate coach for both AHS and CHS, and Jera Bunton is the UIL Congress coach at ATEMS.