This weekend the
Chesterton High School Speech and Debate program qualified seven more
students for The National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held in
Dallas, Texas, June 16 to 21.
qualifying tournament was a unique challenge this past weekend; instead of
competing in their usual placement in Northeast Indiana against teams such
as Concord and Bishop Dwenger, Chesterton was transferred into the Northwest
Indiana District against intense rival Munster. With both Northeast and
Northwest Indiana holding qualifying tournaments at Plymouth High School,
Chesterton lost the team sweepstakes award to the district champion Munster
by just one point.
“At sectionals we
were fourteen points behind Munster and on Saturday we were literally neck
and neck. State is this weekend and our team is closing the gap and peaking
at the perfect time,” said Head Coach Dakota McCoy. While the team result is
promising, the focus of the weekend was individual successes as the top two
students in each of the eight speech events qualified for the national
Interpretation, four Chesterton students advanced to the final round, with
juniors Anekah Fish and Alan Stirling closing out the champion and runner-up
spots, while sophomores Lily Roberts and Rebecca Mueller took 5th and 6th
place respectively. Students who double qualify are only allowed one event
at nationals. So when Stirling won yet another championship in Program of
Oral Interpretation he opened the door for Roberts to still qualify in drama
despite her finish. Roberts would also final in POI and finish 3rd, ahead of
fellow teammate, junior Nidhee Patel in 5th.
Chesterton also has
tournament champions in Duo Interpretation with juniors Max Winski and
Indigo Loving in the top spot, followed by juniors George Tracy and Nathan
Mullin in 3rd place (alternate) and junior Jenna Aguilar and freshman Heidi
Boltze in 5th place.
championship went to junior Anna Sanders in Original Oratory with Mueller
taking 4th and still qualifying for nationals, because a student ahead of
her had already qualified in a different event. In Humorous Interpretation,
Boltze took an impressive 3rd place (alternate), with Mullin and Loving
taking 4th and 5th place respectively. Fish additionally qualified in
Informative Speaking, despite fishing 3rd, and junior Nick Hanson took 6th
place in United States Extemporaneous Speaking.
The CHS coaching
staff was joined by a host of former students and parents who helped with
judging and the seven speech national qualifiers will be officially
announced after the National Speech and Debate Association central office in
Iowa audits the results.
This week, the team
will travel downstate to Fishers with its 34 state-qualifying entries to
compete at the Indiana High School Forensic Association State tournament.