Chesterton Tribune



CHS Speech team qualifies 12 for national tourney

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The Chesterton High School speech team qualified 12 more students to the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) national tournament which be held in Birmingham, Alabama June 18th through the 24th. These speech students will join the 12 debaters who qualified at previous North East District tournaments. The team captured 11 of the 16 qualifying slots in speech. The top two in each of the eight events offered become eligible to compete at the National Speech and Debate Associations national tournament.

CHS also placed first as a team and won the award as the number one speech and debate team in the North East District. Ten schools with more than 150 entries competed in the national qualifying tournament held at Plymouth High School. After two preliminary rounds of competition the top six in each event competed in a final round. Twenty-five of the team’s 34 entries advanced to final round.

The team took the top two qualification slots in three of the events. In humorous interpretation senior Izzy Portugal and sophomore Allen Smith qualified. This will be Portugal’s third national tournament. Dramatic interpretation qualifiers were senior Karly Carden and junior Paige Donovan. And in original oratory seniors Natalie Beglin and Noelle Friel qualified. This will be a second trip to national competition for Friel, Beglin and Carden.

Portugal and Carden also qualified in duo interpretation but chose to go in their single events. Students cannot double qualify for the national tournament. Qualifying in duo, however, was the team of juniors Josh Hogan and Logan Summers. Summers also qualified in dramatic interpretation but elected to go in duo, which opened up the opportunity for Paige Donovan, who was the alternate in drama, to advance. Hogan also placed third in humor. Hogan is going to his second national tournament.

The team qualified its first ever student in informative speaking, sending junior Bryn Jackson to the national tournament. Junior Natalia Wadowski placed third and is the alternate in informative. Wadowski and Jackson also placed fourth in duo interpretation. They were followed in duo by the freshman team of Anna Leady and Alan Stirling.

Senior Angel Smith will join her brother Allen at the national tournament after qualifying in programmed oral interpretation (POI). Noelle Friel also qualified in POI but chose to compete in original oratory. Natalie Beglin finished fourth in POI.

Finishing out the twelve qualifiers were two extemporaneous speakers. In international junior Connor Wantuch will compete in his third national tournament. Junior Ryan Day qualified in U.S. extemporaneous speaking. Day got help from his teammate Hayden Hodge who qualified in U.S. but elected to go in public forum debate, thus opening up an opportunity for Day, who was the alternate.

Junior Hannah Geiss was also a qualifier in international extemporaneous but chose to attend on her previous qualification in Lincoln/Douglas debate. Sophomore Madi Ghoreishi placed fourth in international.

“This is an excellent group of young people, and I know they will represent CHS and the Duneland schools well. They reflect what we promote Š a positive attitude and work ethic,” said Coach Bob Kelly.

Joining Kelly and Coaches Chris Lowery, Eric Schaefer, Kayla Fleming, Dakota McCoy and Josh Coots was volunteer assistant Sam Lee. In addition, former speech team members, Heather (Ransford) Augustyn, Michelle Jatkiewicz, and Jessica Cleary, and parents Diane Zielinski and Jim Vincent helped with judging. The team will close out its IHSFA season at the state finals this weekend.


Posted 3/7/2017




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