Noblesville High School Speech Team places fourth at state

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State champions in memorized duo Sam Fields, left, and Blake Robinson. (Submitted photo)

State champions in memorized duo Sam Fields, left, and Blake Robinson. (Submitted photo)

The Noblesville High School Speech Team placed fourth at the 2015 Indiana High School Forensics Association State Speech Tournament at Fishers High School.

NHS had six state finalists including state champions Blake Robinson and Sam Fields (memorized duo), Karlee Kopp and Ben Elliott (fifth in memorized duo), Madeline Backs (fifth in humorous interpretation) and Grace Dean (fifth in original oratory).

State semifinalists (top 18 in the state) were Gabby Joy, Briana Huskin, Jack Vastag, Tara Douglas, Leah Hanley, Ethan Hutchinson, Nick Argueta, Brian Schnoor, and Lily Schwab. Other members of the NHS Speech Team that qualified for the state meet included: Alice Lawson, Maddie Hayward, Aaliyah Hunt, DeShaun Johnson, Katelyn Maudlin, Riley Poynter, Morgan Vastag, and David Pimley.

“Our team performed exceptionally well, placing fourth in the state for the second year in a row,” said Evan Elliott, who coaches the speech team with Daniel Young and Susan Nieten. “This is also our second consecutive year with a championship in memorized duo. Our team is now ranked in the top 4 percent nationally and I could not be more proud of the efforts of our students, parents, and volunteers. The squad has grown exponentially over the last three years and I am thankful that so many of our students have had the opportunity to participate in this activity. This will be a state champion program in the very near future.”

NHS hosted the 2015 Hoosier Heartland District Tournament, a national-qualifier tournament to the 2015 National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament held in Dallas from June 14 through 19.  Noblesville has seven students qualify for nationals, including district champion Lily Schwab, humorous interpretation; district runners-up Grace Dean (original oratory), Ben Elliott and Karlee Kopp (memorized duo) and Blake Robinson (humorous interpretation); and Riley Poynter and Brian Schnoor (world debate team).

“The NSDA National Tournament remains the largest academic competition in the world,” Elliott said.

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