By Sergio Berrueta
The East Los Angeles College Speech Team garnered second place this past weekend at the 2014 state championship tournament in Concord, California.
The team earned a new record of 11 awards in various performance and speech categories including two gold, five silver, two bronze, a second place team award and the Pentathlon Award.
Raul Herrera garnered the Pentathlon Award, which is given to the student in the state that earns first place in three preliminary events and two final rounds.
The individuals representing the ELAC Speech Team included Herrera, Sam Aguirre, Israel Beltran, Gordon Ip, Michael Lopez, Nathan Lopez, Alberto Mireles, Nicholas Montero, Sarah Naab and Areli Vazquez. Coach Ryan Smith, co-director of the ELAC Speech Team, led the Huskies to the championship conference against other selected campuses for the event.
Thirty schools from across California took part in the week-long event hosted by the California Community College Forensics Association for students to compete for prestigious awards.
“Speech forensics team members transfer at a high rate,” Chair of the Communication Studies, Theatre Arts and Broadcasting Department Michael Kasentis said.
“(They) are better prepared to succeed in the workplace where communication and critical thinking are ranked high on the list of skills employers demand,” Kasentis said.
The ELAC Speech Team will head to Denver, Colorado in the first and second weeks of April to enter the national competition.