The regional tournament for the Kentucky High School Speech League State competition was held last weekend at LaRue County High School.
LaRue County’s speech team now holds regional titles in two senior division events and a regional champion and runner-up in the junior division. LaRue County also qualified 13 other events in both divisions for competition at the Kentucky High School Speech League State Tournaments held at Western Kentucky University in March.
Students from 17 schools from 14 counties converged on LaRue County’s high/middle school campus to compete for top spots in 23 events.
Ian Mather, a sophomore at LCHS is champion in dramatic interpretation, while sophomore Angelia Whitlock is champion in storytelling.
In the junior division, sixth-grader Kaelyn Herrin is champion in prose interpretation; Emily Marcum, a seventh grader, was runner-up in interpretation of literature. LaRue County took fifth overall out of 17 schools, though it had one of the smallest entries in the tournament.
The middle and high schools will send 15 students to the state competitions to represent the school in 17 events.
In the senior division, LCHS will have entries in broadcasting – Mather; dramatic interpretation – Mather, Jeshua Logsdon and Chelsea Blair; duo interpretation – Sarah Mortensen and Landon Wolford; impromptu speaking – David Cruse; improvisational duo – Cruse and Ian Mather, Timmy Gibson and Nathan Shaw, and Evan Cline and Cody Thompson; poetry interpretation – Logsdon; prose interpretation – Cruse, Gibson and Zachary Lee; and storytelling – Whitlock.
In the junior division, Emily Marcum will enter Interp of Literature; Kaelyn Herrin and Madison Lee will enter prose interpretation.
The success at the regional tournament is a result of the hard work the team has put in all year – bringing home accolades from every tournament they have attended so far.
Gibson, a sophomore, has won several awards for his prose this year including first place at his last two tournaments. Mather has been a powerhouse in dramatic interpretation this year, finishing in the top seven at every Kentucky invitational he has attended, and in the top 26 at the by-invitation-only national regional Barkley Forum held in Atlanta in January. Mather is a multiple event participant and has won awards in both broadcasting and improvisational duo this year as well. Cruse has also had a great season, bringing home wins in impromptu, prose and improvisational duo with Mather throughout the year. Whitlock and Blair have also brought home hardware from several tournaments in storytelling and prose respectively. Freshmen Thompson and Cline have been competing in improvisational duo all year and were finally rewarded for all their hard work with a first place win at the East Jessamine Speech Bowl on Jan. 21.
All of the students have worked hard all year to put LaRue County at the top of the Class A division in Speech in Kentucky. The team has a few more tournaments to attend, including the Kentucky Educational Speech and Debate Association State-Wide Meet on Feb. 21 in Lexington, the KCFL National Qualifier – which sends the top six in each event to a National Competition over Memorial Day Weekend in Albany, New York – on March 7, and the Kentucky High School Speech League State Tournament in Bowling Green on March 14.
Information provided by Katie Cecil