Speech and Debate’s experience in a travel tournament

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Five Speech and Debate students from Middle College High School, along with many others from the Santa Ana Unified School District, were invited to participate in Bradley University’s George Armstrong Heart of Illinois High School Invitational. These students left on Thursday, November 15 from the John Wayne Airport to Houston, Texas. From there, they boarded another plane to Chicago, Illinois before finally getting on a 3-hour bus ride to Peoria, Illinois.

As speechwire states, “Some highlights of the Armstrong experience: 16 National and State Events including NSDA’s Program Oral Interpretation and Informative Speaking, one of the only national scope tournaments with both Open and Novice divisions, [and] Jay Janssen’s Oratorical Contest providing $40k in scholarships.”

Once the tournament began, students were divided into two groups, group A and group B, respectively, depending on their type of speech. Regardless of their groups, students received training from coaches and were expected to be on their best behavior. Group A was the first to compete in the tournament composed of people from California, Illinois, and Missouri.

Freshman Nicholas Ramirez said, “It was cool. During the travel tournament, we were able to compete against other people from across the nation. When we were not competing against the nation’s greatest, I hope, we were at the hotel. We got pasta which made the trip that much better. Also there was a thunderstorm which was cool.

At the end of the tournament, freshmen Ali Naqvi and Nicholas Ramirez were announced to be ranked #2 in Novice Dramatic Interpretation (DI) and Novice Humorous Interpretation (HI). As a way to congratulate the speech team, Sal Tinajero took the entire team as well as the coaches to go eat. Overall, SAUSD won big at the tournament as 29 out of 54 students made it to the finalist stage at the tournament.