DHS wins third straight state title

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Press release

Danville High School won the 2018 Kentucky High School Speech League’s annual senior high school speech tournament on Saturday, March 10, its third straight win. 

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Students competed in 14 speaking categories in three preliminary rounds Friday, March 9 with the top 12 (semifinalists) or top 24 (quarterfinalists) advancing into Saturday rounds (the number of entries determined if each category held quarterfinals or not). The best six performers in semifinals advanced on to the state finals.

DHS won KHSSL State by a narrow five points over Lexington Dunbar, reversing the two schools’ placings at the KESDA Senior Forum two weeks prior. Lexington Henry Clay was third, making it a clean sweep of the top three places for the Bluegrass Region, one of seven geographic Regions in the Kentucky High School Speech League. 

Bardstown Bethlehem, Rowan County, North Oldham, Boone County, Cooper, Murray, and Beechwood rounded out the top 10 schools at State.

Thirty-one of Danville’s 42 entries to the state tournament advanced out of preliminary rounds into the awards rounds, including 14 finalists in the top six: Sara Barringer and Kelsie Steber (third, duo interpretation), Sara Barringer (sixth, storytelling), Caroline Bugg (fourth, impromptu speaking), Natalie Grubbs (third, informative speaking; third, prose), Charlie Hall (second, humorous interpretation; third, oratory; third, storytelling), Emma Merryman (sixth, broadcasting; fifth, informative speaking), Becky Mohr (sixth, impromptu speaking), Summer Quinn (sixth, declamation), and Claire Strysick (second, informative speaking; second, oratory).

Advancing to semifinals (top 12) in their events were Katie Critchfield (extemporaneous speaking), Evey Kinkade (broadcasting), Haley Hopkins and Joseth Warner (duo interpretation, improvisational duo), Becky Mohr (oratory), Eleanor Tubb (extemporaneous speaking), and Joseth Warner (dramatic interpretation).

Quarterfinalists from DHS (top 24) were Paige Glasser and Libby Hale (improvisational duo), Paige Glasser (poetry and program oral interpretation), Caroline Graves (humorous interpretation), Natalie Grubbs (poetry), Jenna Haines (storytelling), Haley Hopkins (humorous interpretation), Emma Merryman (impromptu speaking), Summer Quinn (broadcasting), and Samantha Sallee (declamation).

DHS has won the state title three straight years with five additional wins 2006-2009 plus 2012. The team’s win is notable this year as despite having no state champions this year, the squad did well enough overall to accumulate a winning total of points. 

Also notable is the leadership provided by assistant coaches Beth Marlowe and Maggie Jenkins, who ran the team while head coach Steve Meadows was out with a back injury for several weeks in January and February. 

In addition to these three coaches, Terri Branson, Christel Belcher, Logan Scisco, John Thompson and Hibah Siddiqui prepared the Speaking Admirals for State.

On March 8 and 9, four members of DHS’s forensics team competed in the Kentucky High School Speech League’s State Debate tournament. DHS entered only the congressional debate category and advanced three students past six hours of preliminary rounds into Supers. Caroline Bugg earned second place overall in the contest while fellow senior Becky Mohr placed fifth. Junior Katie Critchfield also advanced into the supers.