The Chesterton Speech team qualified 31 of its 36 entries for the IHSFA
state finals to be held in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 24. Chesterton
hosted the IHSFA Sectiona 1 Sectional Tournament, which included 11 schools
and 177 entries in the 14 individual events. The top seven in each event
qualify for the state finals. The CHS team placed second overall and had
three tournament champions.
Senior Andrew Hogan was the tournament champion in humorous interpretation;
junior Kiera Quealy won original performance; and senior Cassidy Peretin
took top honors in U.S. extemporaneous speaking.
Hogan also placed third in prose, and Peretin was seventh in original
oratory. Quealy is the alternate in drama and would become eligible for
state finals if a qualifier in drama were unable to attend.
All four broadcasting entries qualified with senior Mike Leopold leading the
way with a second place finish. Leopold was followed by junior Christaian
O’Brien in fifth, freshmen Galen Wong in sixth, and Robert St. Pierre in
In discussion all three entries advanced with sophomore Simon Andrews
placing third, junior Ronnie Kovach in fifth, and senior Justin Reed in
All four oratory entries also advanced. Joining Peretin will be junior
Jennifer Kattalia, who finished fourth, Sharon Coleman, who was fifth, and
Mikaela Meyer, who was sixth. Kattalia also qualified in drama, placing
seventh; Meyer qualified in declamation, placing fourth; and Coleman, along
with her partner junior Kaylee Oates, finished fifth in memorized duo.
Oates also qualified for humor, finishing in fourth place. Joining Oates and
Coleman in memorized duo were the sophomore teams of Jami Ritchea and Sarah
Parker – fourth place - and Danny Vincent and Olivia Dujmovich in seventh.
In addition, the team of Lauren Hogan (9) and Rachel Kidder (11) qualified
in sixth place.
In extemporaneous speaking the team qualified four of its five entries. In
international extemporaneous junior Spencer Gordon took second place, and
sophomore Andrew Caratini finished in seventh. Gordon also qualified in
impromptu, placing fifth. Following Peretin in U.S. extemporaneous was
junior Humaira Khan in sixth. Freshman Matt Murfitt just missed and is the
Senior Kalina Smith took second place in impromptu, and freshman Kasey
O’Keefe placed seventh in prose to advance. Junior Samantha Read in third
and sophomore Sarah Parker in fifth, came in behind Quealy in original
“This sectional is the toughest in the state. We actually qualified more for
state finals than I thought we would. The kids really came through and did a
nice job today. They gave been a good group to work with all year,” said
coach Bob Kelly.
Munster High School was the sectional champion amassing 207 points. CHS
followed in second with 132 points, and Culver Academies finished third with
110 points. Valparaiso placed fourth with 23 points, and Penn High School
finished fifth with 13 points.
The Chesterton coaching staff was assisted by numerous former students and
community members, who helped with judging. In addition, a number of parents
led by Alice Meyer and Jessica Mottinger provided food and hospitality for
the nine hour competition.
The team will now prepare for it district qualifier which will be held in
Plymouth this coming weekend.