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Murray High Speech Team Places 4th in State
By West Kentucky Star Staff
MURRAY - The Murray High Speech Team took fourth in the state in the Kentucky High School Speech League (KHSSL) virtual State Speech Tournament held online.

KHSSL completed its virtual Senior High Tournament on Monday with an awards ceremony video streamed on YouTube. Students competed in 14 speech events as a culmination of the year’s competitive high school speech season. 

The state tournament was originally scheduled to take place in March at the University of Louisville, but the in-person meet was postponed. This was KHSSL’s first online event and also served to mark its 100th year of state competitions. 

State champions were crowned in each event after students participated in three preliminary rounds, a semifinal round, and the finals for the top six. Students recorded speeches ahead of time in ten of the events. All rounds were scored by judges across the state with feedback ballots submitted via the Internet.

Executive Director Steve Meadows noted that while the virtual contest was roughly half the size of the enrollment for the in-person meet which was cancelled two days before it began, they were very happy to be able to provide this contest to schools.  “So that their students, especially their seniors, could have this important part of their spring activities still happen for them, especially as a capstone event for this, our one hundredth year of contests.”

The League had previously held in-person state debate and junior high speech contests before the pandemic shut down such events as well as fourteen regional tournaments around the state after the end of the invitational season. 

Murray High Seniors Chellam Antony and Kat Jenkins were named state champions in Improvisational Duo. Antony was also the state runner-up in Humorous Interpretation. Other Murray High students placing in the final round were Katelynn Stanczyk (3rd in Impromptu and 5th in Declamation), Mia Todd (6th in Impromptu), and Raegan Settle (5th in Broadcasting). 

Seven Murray High entries advanced to semifinals (top twelve) competition on May 6th. Students advanced to semifinals in the following events: Declamation - Raegan Settle, Duo Interpretation - Korey Knight and Skylar Swalls, Extemp - Mia Todd, Improvisational Duo - Jesse Adams and Gabriel Crass, Poetry - Chellam Antony, Prose - Ella Brown-Terry, and Storytelling - Kat Jenkins. 

Team members who did not advance from preliminary competition, but contributed to the overall team effort include Alyssa Daughrity, Joshua Eaton, Isaac Gallimore, Olivia Kelly, Caroline Kim, Amanda Peiffer, Margaret Robinson, and Kyra Shutt.

Coaching staff for the Murray High School Speech Team includes Assistant Coach Selena McPherson, Doris Cella, and Randy Patterson. Head coach for the Murray High Speech Team is Michael Robinson. Robinson also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky High School Speech League (KHSSL) and was inducted into the KHSSL Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Published 11:00 PM, Wednesday May. 20, 2020
Updated 08:19 PM, Wednesday May. 20, 2020

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