The Chesterton speech team dominated Northeast District competition this
past weekend, taking seven of the twelve national qualifying slots in
speech. Eighteen of the team's 23 entries advanced to final rounds (the top
6 in each event) and the team had at least one national qualifier in each of
the six events - humor, drama, oratory, duo, and U.S. and international
extemporaneous. The eleven hour national qualifying tournament started with
90 students from seven schools in the Northeast District. All students
competed in three preliminary rounds with the top 12 in each event advancing
to semifinals and then the top six moving on to finals.
National qualifiers included seniors Jennifer Kattalia in original oratory,
Sharon Coleman and Kaylee Oates in memorized duo, Spencer Gordon in
international extemporaneous, Kiera Quealy in drama, and Humaira Khan in
U.S. extemporaneous. In addition, junior Jami Ritchea and sophomore Lauren
Hogan qualified in humor. Kattalia, Coleman, and Oates will be attending
their second national tournament. Oates actually qualified in both humor and
duo but selected duo as her event. The NFL national tournament will be held
in Birmingham, Alabama this June. The eight students in seven speech slots
brings this year's national team to eighteen students, competing in speech
debate and congress.
The team also won the sweepstakes awards for most rounds in speech, and
speech and debate combined. The Northeast District also held a drawing for
all students who had been entered in speech, debate and congress in
Northeast competition for 2013. The team won two of the three $100 awards,
with Kiera Quealy and Aliyah Caraballo coming away with the money.
"This is as well as we have done in some time and it's great group of young
people. We're very proud of the entire group we have going to Birmingham
this summer. I'm sure they will represent the school and the Duneland
community well," said coach Bob Kelly.
Other finalists for Chesterton included four alternates - students who could
qualify if either of the two qualifiers were unable to attend the national
tournament. The four alternates were freshman Tim Vincent in international
extemporaneous, junior Nathan Burris in U.S. extemporaneous, junior Layla
Mooradian in original oratory, and senior Aliyah Caraballo in drama.
Also in final rounds were Ronnie Kovach, along with sophomore Matt Eggers
who placed fifth in U.S. extemporaneous. Kovach was actually the first
alternate in U.S. but he had previously qualified in debate and ceded his
alternate position to Burris. In addition, junior Mikaela Meyer finished
fourth in oratory, Sharon Coleman was fourth in drama, and the duo teams of
Kattalia and Mooradian, and Caraballo and junior Danny Vincent were fourth
and fifth, respectively. Meyer will be going to Birmingham, however, because
she had previously qualified in student senate.
Coaches Kelly, Chris Lowery, Doug Pishkur, Becky Uehling and Eric Schaefer
were joined by several former students and parents who helped with judging.
Former students included Heather (Ransford) Augustyn, Michelle Jatkiewicz,
Jack Deuberry, Kara Fasone, and Jessica Cleary. Parents Pegg Sangerman,
Alice Meyer, and Jim Vincent also judged.