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Team Captures 5th Place at State Tourney

Congratulations to the Highland High School Speech and Debate Team and coaches on capturing 5th place at the State Tournament this past weekend. This is the first time in Highland history that the team placed at the State Tournament! Additionally, Highland emerged with its first individual State Tournament Champion, Taylor Headrick in the category of Humorous Interpretation.

Out of the 35 students who traveled to State, 15 made it to a first elimination round (quarters), 12 advanced to the semi-final round and received medals, and four were recognized in the Top 6. They include: 

  • Top 6 in State: Taylor Headrick, 1st, Humorous Interpretation; Cecilia Mainzer and Andy Mockbee, 4th, Duo Interpretation; Christopher Sollenberger, 5th, International Extemporaneous Speaking; and Evan Buck, 5th, United States Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Semi-Finalists: Ava Mastrianni, Informative Speaking; Brock Withers, Humorous Interpretation; Varun Natarajan, Original Oratory; Kennedy Shelton, Program of Oral Interpretation; Emma Crone, Program of Oral Interpretation; Aaron Neil, Student Congress; Nick McFadden, Student Congress; and Emma Pappas, Student Congress.
  • Quarter Finalists: Beau Bilinovich, Student Congress; Alexis Divis, Original Oratory; and Jacob McPherson, United States Extemporaneous Speaking.  

Photo: State Tournament Champion, Taylor Headrick in the category of Humorous Interpretation, pictured with Coach Suzette Burtoft.





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