Individual Speech team sets more records

by Ryan Van Gilst

After a day full of great performances at State, the PC Individual Events Speech team awaited the announcement of All-state nominations, which would come the following Monday afternoon. Senior Ryan Van Gilst was chosen to perform his Prose Interpretation at the All-state Festival at UNI on March 26. The title of his reading was Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich, which documented the lives of victims after the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986. Van Gilst was one of 300 students selected to perform out of 9,000 original entries.

PC performers took their pieces to State competition hosted by J.F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on March 10. Fourteen events received an overall one rating out of the 16 events that performed. Nine were awarded straight ones from each judge. Individual Events participation was up this year and had a record number of events go to State for PC.

Prior to State, another record was broken at Districts, with 19 events being entered. Thirteen students prepared their events for the judges at Marshalltown High School on February 24.  Seventeen performances came away with ones, allowing them to move on to the State competition. Every student had at least one performance receive a one at Marshalltown.

PC’s Forensics coaches Lisa Van Gilst and Marlo Van Peursem were excited after a great day District competition. “The high numbers provided us with a new challenge: how to make it to every performance especially when some were at the same time. Which is a good problem to have!” said coach Van Gilst. “Our kids were very prepared. It was a very exciting season with a record number of events and really awesome kids to work with!”

Senior Alexis De Vries, who earned straight ones in Literary Program and an overall two in Poetry, encourages others to get involved in Speech Forensics. “There are so many different events available for Individual Speech, such as Radio Broadcasting all the way to Musical Theatre. There is an option out there for almost anybody,” she said.

This year students tried new events such as Reviewing and After Dinner Speaking. Senior Mitaya Williams said, “I enjoyed Individuals because it helps me understand my individual strengths and how I can improve on them. If you aren’t in Speech and are thinking about it, do it! It’s an amazing learning experience for yourself.”

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