SA Speech headed down to Union City for two full days of competition starting early Saturday morning. At this point in the season, many of our team members have two pieces that are competition-ready, so we had fifteen competitors, but many, many more entries than that. This tournament is varsity only, and it brings teams from all over the United States, including a group of national champions from Louisiana.
Our new star, a long-time debater turned into a speech competitor, Reece Stromberg '19 went deep into this one in Extemporaneous, even though it was his first invitational as a member of the speech team. Reece broke through quarters into semis where he was finally eliminated. Reece definitely has his sights on State this year, down in Long Beach.
Gavin Patchet '19, who was double-entered in both Oratory and Impromptu, made it to quarter finals in Impromptu, which is made all the more amazing by the fact that there were over one hundred entries in his field. Gavin keeps on rolling!
Emma Hartley '20, who has been competing in Duo all year, made the debut of her second piece, an Advocacy speech about black lung disease. She broke through quarters into semis, where she finally dropped, but this promises well for Stanford and the State Qualifying tournaments ahead.
Everyone who went deserves to be congratulated on their efforts and accomplishments, but I cannot conclude without mentioning the Duo performance by Ellie Ramos '21 and Veronica Aranda '21. They have performed this piece at SA's Community Meeting as well as for the Do Tell Story Swap
, a community event held monthly in Santa Rosa. This added experience was probably useful because these sophomores found themselves performing in front of the entire tournament at the Awards Ceremony, which features the final round of Duo Interpretation just before the trophies are handed out. They wowed over five hundred people as they shared the stage with teams from Wyoming, Arizona, Louisiana, not to mention the very best team from James Logan High School. These two are on fire, and there seems to be no stopping them.
While I share these highlights, I want to also mention that there are other things about attending a tournament such as this. The team has bonded at this point. They help one another. They encourage each other. They share in each other's accomplishments... And... at the end of a weekend like this, they can feel satisfied that two days spent listening to other young folk from all over the country was a weekend well spent.
I want to thank the following parents for helping with the driving and the judging: Jane Fowles, Betsy Garner, Chris Huynh, and a father who really knows how to whoop with pride for his daughter, Sergio Aranda. Without the dedication of their time, we could not have competed at this tournament. Thank you.