CHS Speech Team Qualifies 29 Entries To the Top 24 At State

Miranda Miller, Sandscript Author

On Saturday, February 27th, the Chesterton Speech team competed in the preliminary rounds of the State tournament.  These rounds determine whether or not a competitor continues to the elimination rounds.  The team found out which competitors would be going on to the quarter-final round or who was ranked in the top 24 competitors at the tournament.  The team had 29 entries qualify for the quarter-final round.  

“It’s hard to evaluate the team’s performance at prelims because we’ve never had a competition year like this. In a normal year, we would be thrilled to have 29 entries advance to quarterfinals. Sometimes we don’t even qualify that number to the state tournament at all, so we’re in a good spot. This year, it’s hard to say what it means in the long run. I’m proud of the students for giving it their all during prelims, but the real test comes this weekend at the state elimination rounds,” says head coach Dakota McCoy.

The qualifiers include in Broadcasting, sophomores Jackson Dudek and Gigi Hanner, and senior Mattea Sklut. In Discussion, senior Elia Livovich.  In Dramatic Interpretation, juniors Miranda Miller and Natalie Nuñez, and senior Kaitlyn Papka.  In Duo Interpretation, Miller and Nuñez.  In Humorous Interpretation, sophomore Josh Hoover, and juniors Dylan Leavitt and Heidi Boltze.  In Impromptu Speaking, juniors Mark Jewison and Hamza Sahli, and senior Tim Wheeler.  In Informative Speaking, Jackson Dudek and Mattea Sklut along with senior Rebecca Mueller.  In International Extemporaneous Speaking, Sahli.  In Original Oratory, Gigi Hanner along with senior Anna Sanders.  In Poetry Interpretation, senior Alicia Drewes.  In Program Oral Interpretation (POI), Dylan Leavitt along with senior Lily Roberts.  In Prose Interpretation, Josh Hoover, Mueller, Roberts, and Sanders.  In United States Extemporaneous Speaking, Mark Jewison.

    “Expectations-wise, I will feel very confident if we have 20-25 of our quarterfinalists make it to the semifinals. From there, advancing 15 to the final round is the “magic number” of having a really good shot at the state title. If we can get 15 finalists, with some of them potentially winning titles in their event, we may see Chesterton come home with the state trophy. While the hardware is nice, however, the coaching staff is adamant that our greatest victories are won out of round, and will be happy as long as the students walk away feeling like they’ve left it all “on the field.”  McCoy responded when asked about his expectations.

These students will continue their State journey on March 13 for the elimination rounds.