Hennessey High School’s speech team traveled to Okeene on Jan. 25-26 and even though they were short two members, the group still managed to run away with the championship division sweepstakes title, defeating Alva, Bethany, Chisholm, Crescent, and Fairview to bring home the first place award.
With only eight members competing, the HHS team garnered 21 total medals at the tournament in addition to the team sweepstakes award.
Hennessey students who placed at the competition in championship division included senior Dakota Davis, first in monologue, second in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and second in CX debate along with his partner, junior Nadia Valles.
Valles also defeated the reigning class 4A state champion from Bethany in foreign extemporaneous speaking and took first place in that event.
Other juniors who placed were Ethan Miller, first in Lincoln-Douglas debate, outstanding speaker award in Lincoln-Douglas debate, and third in foreign extemporaneous speaking; Claire Ullery, first in humorous interpretation and second in Lincoln-Douglas debate; and Pedro Valle, third in domestic extemporaneous speaking and third in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Freshmen who placed included Jaden Matthews, first in prose and second in monologue; Milisa Heskett, third in standard oratory and third in CX debate along with her partner Ashland Crites.
A few of the students competed in Class 3A to qualify their events for the regional tournament in March.
Those students and their placings are Ethan Miller and Claire Ullery, second in humorous duet; Ashland Crites, first in standard oratory; Milisa Heskett, second in domestic extemporaneous speaking; and Ashland Crites, third in domestic extemporaneous speaking.
Pedro Valle also advanced to the finals round of poetry.
Coached by Linda Soudek, the HHS speech program is still in its infancy as this is only its fifth year of existence.
Members are preparing for their next competition, the Haskell Tournament, scheduled for Feb. 8-9.