Chesterton Tribune



CHS Speech and Debate team dominates home tourney

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The Chesterton High School Speech and Debate Team hosted its annual “Skeffington Memorial” Speech Invitational this past weekend. Seven schools with about 200 entries attended the all varsity tournament. The CHS speakers dominated the tournament, winning 11 of the 14 events offered. The top eight in each event were recognized at the award’s ceremony

Leading the team were three seniors, all of whom won two events. Noelle Friel won both original oratory and programmed oral interpretation (POI). Izzy Portugal took first place in both humorous interpretation and, along with her partner, senior Karly Karden, duo interpretation. Senior Angel Smith won both poetry interpretation and, with her brother, sophomore Allen Smith, original performance. Karden also placed fifth in prose, and Allen Smith finished eighth in poetry. Angel Smith, the only team member entered in three events, also placed second in POI and led the team with points.

Other tournament champions included junior Wantuch in international extemporaneous speaking, senior Hayden Hodge in impromptu speaking, and sophomore Skylar Noschese in prose interpretation. Hodge also placed third in U.S. extemporaneous speaking and Wantuch finished fourth in impromptu.

Also taking top honors were senior James Van Drie in dramatic interpretation, and junior Hannah Geiss in discussion. Van Drie also placed third in poetry. Following Geiss in discussion were junior Cama Duhamell in third, senior Katrina Balon in fifth and freshman Maddie Smith in eighth.

CHS took the top three spots in duo interpretation. Following Portugal and Carden was the team of juniors, Bryn Jackson and Natalia Wadowski in second, and the freshman team of Alan Stirling and Anna Leady in third. Jackson and Wadowski also placed third and fourth, respectively, in informative speaking. Stirling came in second in prose.

With debate season behind them, several debaters competed in a number of the public address events, adding some real depth to the team. Junior Katelyn Balakir was sixth in impromptu, sophomore Madi Ghoreishi was third in international extemporaneous, junior Nathan Herr was eighth in informative, junior Ryna Day was fifth in U.S. extemporaneous, followed by sophomore Elle Diddona in sixth and junior Aaron Brookehouse in eighth. In addition, freshmen Emily Krygoske, Annika Fish and Owen Cowsert were fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in broadcasting.

The team also demonstrated some depth in a number of interpretation events. Following Portugal in humor were juniors Josh Hogan and Amber Johnson, who were second and fourth, respectively, and senior Megan Bernth, placing sixth. Bernth and her partner, senior Keerat Basra, also finished eighth in original performance. Basra took eighth in prose as well.

Senior Natalie Beglin scored well in two events, placing second in original oratory and fourth in POI. Junior Leaha Estes followed Beglin in POI with a sixth place finish, and sophomore Evan Ekblaw finished behind Beglin in oratory, taking fourth place.

Finishing behind Van Drie in drama was freshman Indigo Loving in fifth, and juniors Cassandra Weurthele and Paige Donovan in sixth and seventh, respectively. In addition, two other sophomores made their mark, placing in two events each. Anjali Dziarski was second in original performance and seventh in impromptu, and Chloe Thomas was sixth in poetry and seventh in prose.

“The team did extremely well today. We were a little disappointed that the tournament was as small as it was, but you can’t take anything away from the kids Š they absolutely dominated,” said Coach Becky Uehling.

As the host school CHS did not take a team trophy. First place went to Munster with 90 points, followed closely by Plymouth with 81 points. Third place went to Concord with 38 points, fourth to Valparaiso with 12 points and fifth to Bishop Noll with 5 points.

Scores of parents and former students helped with judging and hospitality. Coach Uehling gave a special thanks to the Ekblaw and Kezy families for all their hard work in hospitality. The team’s next tournament will be this weekend in Munster.




Posted 2/7/2017




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