Eight Qualify for Speech Nationals in Indy
by The Milton Measure on Friday, February 10th, 2012
This past weekend, from February 3rd to the 5th, Milton Academy’s speech team participated in the National Forensic League qualifying round in hopes of advancing to nationals held in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 10th.
The 60 most dedicated student teams competed in various public speaking and debate events such as Congressional debates, original oratory, foreign policy debates, and humorous interpretation, with favorable results. Eight members of the speech team placed in the top two for their respective events, earning a spot in the Indianapolis nationals.
Harry Wood (II) and Olivia Atwood (II) took top honors as they qualified in “Humorous Interpretation” with a 10-minute comical character portrayal.
Louis McWilliams (I) and Liz Stanfield (I) conquered “Duo Interpretation” as they acted out a short literary piece in which they were unable to make eye contact with one another or use props.
Alycia Hernandez (II) qualified for “Original Oratory,” an event that required her to perform a memorized persuasive speech of her own. In “Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking,” Christine Cahill (I) qualified with a seven-minute speech reviewing aspects of United States domestic politics, commerce, and economy, while Evan Garnick (II) qualified for a similar category “Foreign International Extemporaneous Speaking,” an event that requires a memorized performance focused on world affairs.
Finally, Martin Page (I) earned himself a spot in the nationals in “Congressional Debate,” in which he discussed various bills and resolutions of the United States Congress.
After the overall impressive performance by the speech team, Harry Wood (II) emphasized the team aspect of the qualifying rounds, stating: “There was such a great sense of teamwork and group motivation the whole weekend.
Everyone helped each other stay excited and strong, and the whole team ended up better because of it. Long days like we had are so much easier when you know you have 10 people behind you every step of the way.”
The two high school speech leagues, the National Forensic League and the National Catholic Forensic League – abbreviated
NFL and CFL respectively – have their own qualifying and national tournaments. In the NFL qualifying tournament, each participant had to go through multiple elimination rounds. At the end of each round, the judges ranked the students on a scale of 1 to 6, and the bottom half of the group received a ‘down.’ Two ‘downs’ would eliminate a competitor completely. The elimination rounds continued until seven or less students remained for each event, at which point a final event would allow the top two students of each category to advance to the NFL nationals in Indianapolis.
This coming weekend, Milton’s speech team hopes to continue its success at the CFL qualifiers, which follow a similar process as the NFL qualifiers. The NFL national tournament will take place on June 10th in Indianapolis, Indiana, while the CFL national tournament will take place on May 25th in Baltimore, Maryland.
Members of Milton’s speech team will compete against individuals representing schools from all around the country, with each event fielding 150 to 250 other students. Considering the it’s previous performances and records, the team is expected to continue to excel.
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