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Grant County High School Speech and Drama Team competed in the 25th annual Smoky Mountain National Invitational Tournament at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Feb. 24-27. There were 36 students from Grant County who attended the event.
GCHS placed second overall in the prestigious competition sweepstakes, which includes both debate and speech rivalry. Students from 24 schools, from across the United States, took part in the competition. For the overall Speech Sweepstakes competition and the Debate Sweepstakes competition Grant County High School placed fourth.
At this event, Grant County, led by Ryan Ray and assistant coach, Chastity Rohan, marked a milestone in public forum debating, winning 15 matches out of 36 debates, which is a 42 percent win rate, a new school record.
At the state level, for the fourth time in five years, on Feb. 13, the GCHS team defeated long-time rivals in Boone County, and eight other teams, to be named the Kentucky High School Speech League Northern Regional Champions, the 23rd overall first place win in the team’s six-year history.
The team also competed at the Kentucky High School Speech League (KHSSL) Senior Division Championship Forensics Tournament at Western Kentucky University, March 11-13. The tournament consisted of events that recognize individual students in various public speaking, literature interpretation and debates. Grant County won fifth place in the AAA Team awards category.
Alexandra Young and Sidney Tencza were runners-up in public forum debate and Zach Bolen and Haley Mullins placed third in duo interpretation. Alexandra Young won fifth for humorous interpretation.
The results for the Smoky Mountain Nationals:
Declamation (99 students entered) Sidney Tencza – sixth place
Humorous Interpretation (77 students entered) - Zach Bolen – first place (Smoky Mountain National Champion) and Jacob Ewing – fifth place
Impromptu Speaking (88 students entered) - Haley Mullins – second place (Smoky Mountain National runner-up)
Prose Interpretation (the largest event – 124 students entered) - Robbie Turner – fourth place