Chesterton Tribune



CHS speech wins and qualifies for canceled state tourney and at-risk national tourney

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The Chesterton High School Speech team spent the last two weekends in fierce postseason competition. “The final three weekends are by far the most important and difficult competitions of the year, especially since the CHS speakers and intense rival Munster were neck and neck this season. This past weekend the team intended on competing at the annual state tournament, but the tournament was canceled for health concerns.” said Program Director Chris Lowery. “We are hopeful that the national tournament in June will be held according to schedule.”

The team ended its season with a second place win at sectionals and a first place win at the national-qualifying district tournament. They are the first team to win four legs of the district trophy by winning it five times.

The race for postseason started on February 29, with the tightly contested Section 1 IHSFA Sectional Tournament. CHS placed second in the overall team sweepstakes points. Munster won with 204 points, followed by Chesterton with 201 points. Crown Point was third, followed by Bishop Noll in fourth and Valparaiso and LaPorte tying for fifth.

Eight schools competed in the tournament with the top six contestants in each of the fourteen events advancing to the state tournament in Indianapolis. Chesterton had nine tournament champions and advanced 35 of its 40 entries to the state finals.

Seniors led the way for CHS with five of the nine championships. Anekah Fish was the top point earner, winning both informative speaking and dramatic interpretation. Indigo Loving won original oratory, Bella Auricchio took top honors in United States extemporaneous speaking, and the original performance team of Nathan Mullin and George Tracy came in on top. Auricchio also placed third in impromptu. Mullin was second in humor, and Tracy was fourth in drama.

Junior Lily Roberts was the tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation, and fellow junior Mattea Sklut took first place in broadcasting. Sophomore champions include Miranda Miller and Mark Jewison winning prose reading and impromptu respectively. Jewison was also fourth in the United States extemporaneous speaking.

Chesterton had a number of other competitors finish in the top three. Emily Krygoske took second place in broadcasting, and Jenna Aguilar was runner up in informative speaking. Elia Livovich, Madi Simms, Nicholas Hason, and Owen Cowsert all advanced to state by finishing third in discussion, international extemporaneous speaking, United States extemporaneous speaking, and broadcasting, respectively. Also advancing to state was Aguilar, placing fourth in broadcasting, Krygoske was fifth in original oratory, and Simms was fifth in impromptu. Junior Anna Sanders double qualified for state, placing third in original oratory and sixth in prose reading.

Two duo teams advanced to state finals. Juniors Lily Roberts and Kaitlyn Papka placed fourth and the senior team of Indigo Loving and Max Winski were fifth. Papka and Winski also advanced to state by placing fifth in their solo events of programmed oral interpretation and dramatic interpretation respectively. Also qualifying for the state competition are Sophomores Hamza Sahli and Dylan Leavitt, placing fourth and sixth in international extemporaneous speaking and humorous interpretation respectively. In the event of poetry, sophomore Heidi Boltz finished fourth followed by fellow sophomore Chloee Ross in fifth.

CHS has two more state qualifiers in informative speaking with senior Ian Quinn placing fourth and junior Rebecca Mueller finishing sixth. Mueller was also placed sixth in original oratory. “We have the most difficult sectional and district in the state,” said coach Karly Carden. “Munster is a power house, but so are we! Our team losing by three points at sectionals was perfect motivation to prepare for the district national qualifying tournament the following weekend. Team leaders decided to make Munster’s win at sectionals their last of postseason.”

This mentality proved true last when the Chesterton High School Speech team competed at the Northwest Indiana District Tournament. Competition consisted of two preliminary rounds, with the top six performers advancing to the final round. Scores accumulated all day and only the top two competitors in each of the eight events qualified for nationals. CHS took a hard-earned eleven out of sixteen available slots for The National Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 14 to 19.

In dramatic interpretation, three Chesterton students advanced to the final round, with qualifiers Anekah Fish and Max Winski closing out the champion and runner-up spots, and fellow senior George Tracy placing fifth. Tracy was also fifth in duo interpretation with partner Nathan Mullin while Winski and partner Indigo Loving were third. The sophomore duo of Miranda Miller and Natalie Nunez also made finals and placed sixth overall. Chesterton did not qualify any duos, but both Loving and Mullin would be named district champions and qualify in their individual events of original oratory and humorous interpretation. Junior Anna Sanders qualified as the runner up in oratory. Sophomore Dylan Leavitt placed fourth in humorous interpretation but still qualified for nationals due to the fact that students who double qualify are only allowed one event at nationals. When a student from Munster qualified in two events and chose the other over humor, it opened a slot for Leavitt to qualify, despite his fourth place finish. Qualifiers in United States extemporaneous speaking were Nick Hanson and Mattea Sklut, winning first and second, respectively. They were joined by teammate Bella Auricchio in the final round. The title of district champ in program of oral interpretation went to CHS junior and national qualifier Lily Roberts.

“The CHS coaching staff would like to thank all the former students, parents, and friends of the program who helped with judging the past two weekends. This activity would not be possible without the support of our community,” said coach Kathy Hadley. “The recent cancellations are a certain change in plans, but our community and its students are resilient.”



Posted 3/17/2020





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