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 teamís 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 Portugalís 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
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.
ďThis is an
excellent group of young people, and I know they will represent CHS and the
Duneland schools well. They reflect what we promote – a positive attitude
and work ethic,Ē 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.