CHS Speech Takes On the Minneapple and East Chicago

The Chesterton Speech Team splits their roster to compete across the country.

Gigi Hanner, Sandscript Author

On February 5th, the Chesterton Speech Team split between Minneapolis, Minnesota to compete at the annual Minneapple Tournament and East Chicago. The Minneapple tournament is nationally renowned for the high caliber of competition it draws from around the country each year. Among the attending teams from across the nation, Chesterton finished thirteenth. Thirteen students competed at this tournament, with five Chesterton entries breaking to semifinals and three entries making the final round. Notably, Dylan Leavitt was 3rd in the event of Informative and was the tournament champion in Programmed Oral Interpretation. 

The tournament hosted three preliminary rounds, and the top twelve students in each event advanced to the semifinal. Only the strongest entries in the nation advance to the final round. The top three finalists in each event were awarded a marble apple to commemorate their achievement for years to come.

“This is the best our team has performed on the national tournament circuit in a long time,” said coach Dannielle Hunt, who once competed on the team herself. “Chesterton students envision what they want and they manifest the work it takes to get there.”

That same day, the other members of the team competed in East Chicago, Indiana. At that tournament, the team won third place with 48 points. There were two first-place finishes, with Julia Dietrich winning Informative and Riley Hawksworth winning United States Extemporaneous.

Next weekend, the Speech and Debate team competes at the Crown Point and District Congress Tournament, where debate students will attempt to qualify for the NSDA National Tournament, and speech students will enter the last weeks of their regular season.

The following students advanced to elimination rounds in their events across both tournaments (Apple Valley results are bolded):

  • Katie Asbury: 6th place in Creative Expression
    • Julia Dietrich: 1st place in Informative
    • Patrick Hansen: 5th in Impromptu, 5th in US Extemp
    • Riley Hawksworth: 1st in U.S. Extemp
    • Jack Jessen: 4th in International Extemp
    • Matt Keane: 6th in Original Performance, 5th in Radio Speaking
  • Dylan Leavitt: 3rd in Informative, 1st in POI
    • Milena Letic: 3rd in US Extemp
    • Damion Lopez: 3rd in Radio Speaking
  • Miranda Miller: semifinalist in Poetry
  • Natalie Nuñez: semifinalist in Drama
  • Ariel Rodriguez: 2nd in POI
  • Aleksa Sorgic: 2nd in Original Oratory
  • Payton Whalen: 4th in US Extemp