Seniors anchor Danville Forensics in fall meets

Published 5:05 pm Monday, January 7, 2019


Press release

DANVILLE — Danville High School’s (DHS) forensics competitive speech and debate team is off to a strong start for the first two months of the competition season. DHS is the reigning state championship team (three straight years) and looks like a possible contender for a four-peat with outstanding performances in the fall meets.

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Danville’s seniors anchored the team at its three November tournaments as the Speaking Admirals began their seasons. Senior Captain Katie Critchfield, as well as her senior teammates Natalie Grubbs, Charlie Hall, Haley Hopkins, Evey Kinkade, Emma Merryman, Claire Strysick and Joseth Warner brought home the bulk of the Danville Awards. DHS took only two-thirds of its team to each of the three November events due to conflicts with the state drama festival, and a slower start for the team’s rookies. Still, the team took second at the LaRue County Ruth Blair Nov. 3  behind Rowan County; third at Ryle Nov. 10, behind Morristown West (TN) and Cooper; and third at Beechwood Nov. 10, behind Morristown West and Dunbar (one point).

DHS award winners at the November meets were Taylor Ballard (1st Storytelling Ryle, 3rd Beechwood); Critchfield (2nd Extemporaneous LaRue, 2nd Beechwood; 4th Informative Beechwood); Caroline Graves (4th Humorous Ryle); Grubbs (6th Program Oral Interp LaRue); Jenna Haines (5th Humorous Beechwood); Hall (1st Humorous LaRue, 1st Storytelling LaRue); Hopkins and Warner (3rd Duo Interpretation LaRue, 2nd Beechwood); Hopkins (1st Humorous Ryle, 2nd Beechwood); Kinkade (3rd Storytelling LaRue, 2nd Beechwood; 3rd Broadcasting Ryle); Merryman (1st Broadcasting LaRue 2nd Ryle; 1st Impromptu LaRue, 2nd Ryle, 1st Beechwood, 1st Oratory LaRue, 1st Ryle, 4th Beechwood); Britton Minks (6th Humorous Ryle); Summer Quinn (5th Broadcasting LaRue and 4th Beechwood); Samantha Sallee (5th Dramatic LaRue); Strysick (1st Informative Ryle, 5th Beechwood); Warner (2nd Dramatic LaRue, 2nd Ryle, 1st Beechwood; 1st Prose LaRue, 1st Ryle, 2nd Beechwood). Additionally, at the Danville Tournament of Firsts DHS hosted Nov. 17, Critchfield took third overall in Congressional Debate.

Dec. 8, DHS took first of 28 schools from six states at the Western Kentucky University Hilltopper Invitational for the second straight year. Rowan County, Bowling Green, Ravenwood (TN), and Cooper rounded out the top five teams. Seven entries from DHS advanced into the final round after three large preliminary rounds, and at the end of the contest DHS had three tournament champions: the team of Haley Hopkins and Joseth Warner in Duo Interpretation, Emma Merryman in Impromptu Speaking and Charlie Hall in Storytelling. Natalie Grubbs advanced to two finals, placing third in Dramatic Interpretation and third in Informative Speaking. Additionally, junior Taylor Ballard placed third in Storytelling while freshman Abigail Anderson took fifth in Declamation. 

At the inaugural Dixie Heights High Infiniti and Beyond Tournament Dec. 15, Danville swept the tournament, winning by a large margin. 26 DHS entries advanced into the awards rounds, and DHS finished with the tournament champions in seven of the fourteen events. Winning honors at Dixie: Broadcasting: Summer Quinn, 4th; Declamation: Lauren Lucas, 2nd; Dramatic Interpretation: Joseth Warner 1st, Lauren Lucas 5th, Natalie Grubbs 6th; Duo Interpretation: Haley Hopkins and Joseth Warner 1st; Virginia Harp and Samantha Sallee, 3rd; Extemporaneous Speaking; Katie Critchfield 1st, Abigail Anderson 4th; Humorous Interpretation: Charlie Hall 1st, Caroline Graves 2nd, Haley Hopkins 3rd, Virginia Harp 4th; Impromptu Speaking: Emma Merryman 3rd, Alexis Weathers 5th; Improvisational Duo: Charlie Hall and Lina Morales 2nd; Informative Speaking: Natalie Grubbs 1st, Claire Strysick 2nd, Samantha Sallee 4th, Katie Critchfield 6th; Oratory: Emma Merryman 1st, Eleanor Tubb 2nd; Poetry: Summer Quinn 3rd; Prose: Joseth Warner 2nd; Storytelling: Charlie Hall 1st, Taylor Ballard 5th.

DHS will compete in Jan. at Dunbar and Bardstown plus send a delegation to the Barkley Forum at Emory University, a national meet. Additionally, DHS will host the annual Anchor Invitational for Middle Schools Jan. 19.