Speech earns honors

Tiffany Kajiwara, Online Editor

The Speech team participants have been winning awards in their recent competitions. They have competed in several events including the WeGo Novice Invitational in West Chicago, Viking Varsity Challenge in Palatine, DGN Invitational in Downers Grove, and the Turkey tournament in Hoffman Estates.

The competitions consist of four rounds. All of the students participate in three primary rounds. They split off into various rooms with an average of six students per room. The number varies depending on the contest and event. A judge ranks the students against each other based on their performances, with one being the highest and six being the lowest. A sign is posted explaining who did the best in their categories, but the rest of the students remain secret. The highest ranked competitors, after the first three rounds, compete against each other in the finals.

Before they even begin to compete, they rehearse for hours in advance. On the day of the competition, they tend to arrive early so they have time to practice. Their methods may appear somewhat unconventional to an unfamiliar viewer.

Carissa Lehning, sophomore and participant in Oratorical Declamation and prose participant, said, “Once I was practicing my speech with a wall, which is totally normal for speech people, and some kid walks by looking at me like I’m insane.”

They compete almost every Saturday. It is an all-day affair. The students begin competing at 8 a.m., but they arrive much earlier than that. The finals usually begin around 3 p.m.

Sophomore Gillian Guerra said that although the dedication is large, she finds, “It’s not intimidating. It’s just tiring.”

On Saturday, December 5, Elk Grove hosted the invitational where senior Kathryn Riopel, Special Occasion Speaker, and junior Megan Manoj, Extemporaneous Speaker, placed first in their perspective categories.

Twenty two Elk Grove students placed in the four competitions, including five students who placed in first: sophomore Sara Kouvelis in Informative speaking, senior Kathryn Riopel in Special Occasion Speaking, junior Emily Franke in Prose Reading, and junior Megan Manoj in Oratorical Declamation. Many other students achieved high levels of success in their perspective categories.

Still, with the majority of the season to go, the speech team must keep facing and overcoming their challenges as they arise like they have already been.