Chesterton Speech Take 4th At Bradley University Speech Invitational

The Speech Team Has Successful Weekend in Peoria, Illinois

Miranda Miller, Co Editor-In-Chief

On Friday, December 3, the Chesterton Speech Team traveled to Peoria, Illinois to compete at their first overnight tournament of the season in the George Armstrong Heart of Illinois HS Invitational at Bradley University.  The team competed against teams from across the country including two teams who flew in from California for the invitational.  

“Competing at a national circuit tournament allows us to experience new environments, learn new things about speech across the country, and challenge us to improve our own skills,” says junior Jackson Dudek. 

Even with the intense competition, Chesterton Speech was able to come out in the top five schools at the tournament, placing fourth overall in team sweepstakes, following Godinez Fundamental High School (3rd) from California, Dunlap High School (2nd) from Illinois, and Santa Ana High School (1st) from California.  The team had a number of competitors come out in the top six of most events, in both the novice and varsity divisions.  

“We went into Bradley’s tournament with high hopes and lots of put in prior, many of us hit our goals which we had set for ourselves, and those of us who didn’t are more enthused than ever to continue to improve.  I’m extremely proud of my team and our performance this weekend,” states Dudek.



2nd – freshman Damion Lopez


Semifinalist – junior Gigi Hanner

1st – Jackson Dudek

Duo Interpretation:


1st – Jackson Dudek and junior Josh Hoover

Dramatic Interpretation:


Semifinalist – senior Natalie Nunez

Extemporaneous Speaking:


3rd – junior Jackson Jesson

2nd – senior Emma Ekblaw

Humorous Interpretation:


6th – freshman Elsa Leady

4th – Josh Hoover

Original Comedy:


4th – Matt Keane 

Programmed Oral Interpretation:


1st – senior Dylan Leavitt

Original Oratory:


2nd – freshman Lilly Demmon


6th – Natalie Nunez

4th – Gigi Hanner

Prose Interpretation:


2nd – Elsa Leady

It is clear that competing nationally is a very important factor that benefits the team.  Not only are they able to successfully place in the top ranks, but are able to learn from each of their competitors.  

“Competing at a national circuit tournament definitely allowed me to see my competitors nationwide.  I was able to see the abilities and get to know people from all over the country, which was a really cool experience to get to know all kinds of different people involved with speech and debate.  I’ve learned a lot from this past tournament, as well.  I’ve learned some conventional tips, like to always have comfy shoes for the bus ride home, but I’ve also learned a lot about respect for my teammates because at the end of day we’re all in this together and should always have each other’s backs,” says Elsa Leady about her first national circuit tournament experience.  

Following this success, the team will be competing in an online competition hosted by Plymouth High School during the week, and on Saturday, December 11, 2021 the team will travel to Munster High School to compete.