The Chesterton High
School Speech and Debate Team hosted its annual “Skeffington Memorial Speech
Invitational” this past weekend. Nine schools with over 150 entries attended
the tournament, which was the first of the year for the region. The CHS
speakers dominated, with eight varsity champions and three novice champions.
The top six in each event were recognized at the award ceremony.
Leading the team
was senior Jenna Aguilar, who was the only double tournament champion of the
day, winning both Prose Reading and Informative Speaking. Other senior
champions included Max Winski in Dramatic Interpretation, Owen Cowsert in
Broadcasting, and the pair of Nathan Mullin and George Tracy in Duo
Interpretation. Mullin and Tracy were also runners-up in their individual
events of Humor and Broadcasting, respectively.
champions included juniors Anna Sanders in Original Oratory and Jessica
Mitchell in Novice Informative Speaking. The sophomore champions included
Dylan Leavitt in Programmed Oral Interpretation, Heidi Boltze in Humorous
Interpretation, and Chris Israelite in Novice Original Performance.
The team’s lone
freshman champion was Alexander Fish in Novice Prose.
Along with Tracy
and Cowsert, the team closed out the next two spots in Broadcasting, with
Allison Soblotne in third and Mattea Sklut in fourth. Sklut competed in
three different events, qualifying for finals in each, and finishing third
in Impromptu and fifth in Humor.
In the event of
Programmed Oral Interpretation, Lily Roberts was second and Kaitlyn Papka
was third. Roberts and Papka also took second place in Duo Interpretation,
where they compete as partners. In that event, they were followed by
teammates Miranda Miller and Natalie Nu–ez who finished third, and teammates
Ben Sabourin and Logan Riley, who placed fourth. Miller and Nu–ez also
finished in third place in their individual events of Drama and Poetry,
For the event of
Informative Speaking, Chesterton had three finalists: Rebecca Mueller,
Anekah Fish, and Allison Soblotne, who netted third, fifth, and sixth,
respectively. Fish was also the second place winner in Drama and Mueller was
fourth in Original Oratory.
The team had two
finalists in the book events of Prose and Poetry, with Gianna Galante
winning third in Prose and Sadie Kidd finishing fourth in Poetry.
The last varsity
event was Discussion, where Madison Simms won third, John Petro took fourth,
and Sara Vasquez placed fifth.
“It was great to
see our varsity come out so strong, but the real story of the day is the
leadership displayed by those members as their novices also had an
outstanding first tournament of the year,” said first year coach Karly
included Liberty Bruno, with fourth in Broadcasting and sixth in Prose;
Chloee Ross with second in Prose and third in US Extemp; Melanie Konarski
with fourth in Informative Speaking; Hannah Anders with fourth in Humor;
Kaitlyn Nekola with third in Prose; and Lindsay Price with second in
As the host school,
CHS did not take a team trophy. First place went to Culver, second place
went to Munster, and third place went to Crown Point.
Scores of parents
and former students helped with judging and hospitality. The coaching staff
extends a special thank you to the Mueller Family, as well as the businesses
and individual donors in Chesterton who made the tournament such a
bar-setting start to the year, including Wagner’s Ribs and Val’s Pizzeria.
The team stays
local next week, traveling to compete at Valparaiso’s annual tournament.