Chesterton Speech brings home District Championship

Three CHS students qualify for nationals.

Saanya Agarwal, Co-Editor in Chief

This past weekend, the Chesterton Speech team brought home a District Championship in a competitive battle against Munster, Penn, and Crown Point high schools. The District Tournament qualifies individual competitors for the National Tournament in June. This year, the tournament will take place in Phoenix, Arizona. When adding the totals of Speech, Debate, and Congress, Chesterton’s team won the title of District Champions in all three district tournaments.

In Humorous Interpretation, sophomore Elsa Leady and freshman El Thompson took home the top two places, qualifying them for nationals. This will be Leady’s second consecutive trip to Nationals and Thompson’s first.  Junior Tiffany Nolasco placed 6th in the event, qualifying for the final round.  CHS alumni coach Aaron Drew coaches both Leady and Thompson.  

In Original Oratory, sophomore Carmen Thomas grabbed a qualifying spot, placing 2nd overall. This is her first trip to the National Tournament.  Sophomore Lilly Demmon was 4th and fought hard to get the 2nd alternate spot for nationals.  CHS Co-Director Dakota McCoy serves as coach for Thomas.  

In Informative Speech, sophomore El Thompson placed 3rd, making them the 1st alternate for the national tournament.  In Programmed Oral Interp, Junior Addison Botts was 4th and grabbed the 1st alternate spot for nationals.

In Dramatic Interpretation, Botts placed 3rd and was also the 1st alternate. Senior Caibhan McClure placed 4th and was the 2nd alternate. Leady joined them in the final round, placing 5th overall in the event. In United States Extemporaneous Speaking, sophomore Milena Letic was 5th while junior Sophia Worden was 7th. Both competitors fought hard in the final round.  Letic was attempting to qualify in her third event, but ultimately came up short in a difficult field.  In International Extemporaneous Speaking, sophomore Patrick Hansen also made it to the final round and placed 5th overall in the event.

The team ends its Indiana season on Saturday with 23 entries competing across 15 events at the ISSDA State Finals at Fishers HS.  In addition to McCoy and Drew, the team is coached by alumni Dannielle Hunt, Karly Carden, Chris Lowery as well as Co-Director Joshua Coots and Taylor Alexander.