Two sophomores from El Dorado Springs High School recently traveled to Salt Lake City, UT, to compete at the National Speech and Debate Tournament held June 12-17. Caleb Alexander and Caleb Miller competed in a total of 25 rounds of competition and both advanced to the top 40 in the nation.

These speech team students qualified for Nationals with their Duo Interpretation performance that earned them a spot at the state tournament as well. In addition to their success with Duo, Alexander qualified to Nationals with his Humorous Interpretation and Miller qualified with his Dramatic Interpretation. Because of the way that Nationals is set up, students are only allowed to compete with one main event in Salt Lake City. The partners chose to take their Duo.

Students performed their main events six times before the field of competitors was cut from the top 232 Duo groups in the nation down to the top 60. Unfortunately Alexander/Miller did not make the top 60. Their Duo received the following ranks from the 12 judges that saw them: 3, 1, 3, 2, 5, 5, 7, 2, 7, 7, 5, 5.

After being eliminated from main events students have the opportunity to compete in supplemental events. Both Miller and Alexander chose to compete in both Prose and Poetry as their supplemental events. Students that are in the top half of their room continue competing until the field is cut down to a group of six students in finals. Students that are in the bottom half of their room receive a “down” and are eliminated after two “downs.” In Prose, Miller was eliminated after two rounds. Alexander competed in four rounds.

There were 411 students in Poetry. For this event, Miller continued to compete for seven rounds. He was knocked out just before the semifinal round which took place during Round 8. This put him somewhere between 15th-27th in the nation for Poetry. Alexander was eliminated after three rounds of Poetry.

Finally, after a long week of competition students are offered a chance to compete in consolation events. Competitors are eliminated after one “down” in a consolation event. While Miller continued competing in his Poetry, Alexander competed with Storytelling as his consolation event. Despite a total lack of experience in Storytelling, Alexander advanced through three rounds of competition and finished somewhere between 22nd-43rd of 250 students. Individual judge ranks for supplemental and consolation events are released sometime before August.

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EHS SPEECH TEAM COMPETES AT NATIONALS – Caleb Miller (left) and Caleb Alexander (right) take a moment for a smile before their first round of competition.

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