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Danville High forensics earns two firsts, one second in January tournaments

DANVILLE FORENSICS

News release

Danville High School’s competitive speech and debate (forensics) team took top honors at two meets and second place at a third meet during the first two weeks of January. The team hosted the annual Anchor Invitational for middle school teams at DHS on Saturday, Jan. 21. 

On Jan. 7, DHS won the Harlen Hamm Invitational at Rowan County High School. Lexington Henry Clay, North Oldham, Lexington Dunbar, Boone County, and Michigan’s Midwest rounded out the top six in team scores. Senior captain, Grace Sheene, led the team with wins in prose and improvisational duo (with partner Paige Glasser), a second in dramatic interpretation and a third in program oral interpretation.

Sheene was named the outstanding performer in the tournament as she earned the most points of any competitor there.

Fellow captain McCallum Morley placed first in broadcasting; the team of Abigail Anderson and Matthew Ballard won duo interpretation; and Natalie Grubbs was tournament champion in declamation. 

Additional award winners for DHS were: Abigail Anderson (sixth oratory), Caroline Bugg (second congressional debate), Billy Critchifeld (third extemporaneous speaking), the team of Haley Hopkins and Joseth Warner (seventh duo improvisation), Emma Merryman (sixth impromptu speaking) and Claire Strysick (sixth declamation and sixth informative speaking).

On Jan. 14, the team journeyed to Lafayette High in Lexington for a pair of tournaments held at LHS. At the Thelma Beeler Invitational sponsored by Lafayette, Danville placed first by 57 points over Lexington Henry Clay, with Bardstown Bethlehem third, Lexington Dunbar fourth, Louisville’s Kentucky Country Day School fifth, and the Notre Dame Academy sixth. 

DHS took a third of the individual honors given at the meet, advancing 28 entries to the awards round.

DHS awards at the Beeler include: broadcasting — McCallum Morley second, Havannah Martin third; declamation — Natalie Grubbs first, Claire Strysick second, Emma Merryman third, Haley Hopkins fifth; dramatic interpretation — McCallum Morley second, Grace Sheene fourth, Joseth Warner sixth; duo interpretation — Abigail Anderson and Matthew Ballard first, Sara Barringer and Kelsie Steber fourth; extemporaneous speaking — Billy Critchfield first, Katie Critchfield fourth, Caroline Bugg fifth; humorous interpretation — Abigail Anderson fifth; impromptu speaking — Emma Merryman second, Billy Critchfield third, Becky Mohr fourth; improvisational duo — Paige Glasser and Grace Sheene fifth; informative speaking — Briona Burnett fourth, Grayson Fowlkes fifth, Claire Strysick sixth; oratory — Abigail Anderson third; poetry — Emma Merryman first, Becky Mohr third; prose — Grace Sheene first, Havannah Martin sixth; storytelling — Evey Kinkade sixth.

At the Bardstown High School sponsored tournament later on Jan. 14 (held at Lafayette), DHS placed second behind Lexington Henry Clay. Dunbar was third with Bethlehem, Kentucky Country Day, and Notre Dame rounding out the top six. DHS advanced 24 entries into the awards rounds: broadcasting — McCallum Morley second; declamation — Natalie Grubbs first, Emma Merryman second, Claire Strysick fourth, Evey Kinkade sixth; duo interpretation — Abigail Anderson and Matthew Ballard second, Sara Barringer and Kelsie Steber fifth; extemporaneous speaking — Caroline Bugg first, Billy Critchfield second, Katie Critchfield fifth; humorous interpretation — Abigail Anderson second, Haley Hopkins fourth; impromptu speaking — Emma Merryman fourth, Becky Mohr fifth; improvisational duo — Paige Glasser and Grace Sheene fifth; informative speaking — Claire Strysick first, Kami Chappell fifth, Kelsie Steber sixth; oratory — Abigail Anderson second, Mackenzie Howe fourth; program oral interpretation — Mackenzie Howe sixth; prose — Grace Sheene third, Joseth Warner fifth; storytelling — Libby Hale fifth.

Six students from DHS will compete at Emory University’s Barkley Forum Jan. 26-30 with the full team competing in Lexington on Feb. 4 to defend the Kentucky High School Speech League’s Bluegrass Regional Speech title.