By Sergio Berrueta
ELAC’s Speech team is vying to continue their winning streak at the state championship in Concord, Calif. in order to achieve national success in Denver, Colo.
At the state championship, the team managed to sweep up a new ELAC Speech Team record of 11 awards, including the Raul Herrera garnering prestigious Pentathlon Award.
“Simply put, this win is epic,” Speech Team coach Ryan Smith said.
Smith has been hard at work getting the team to reach this far for the past five years.
“Each year, the team gets better and better and all the hard work came together at the 2014 State Tournament. This is a major milestone,” Smith said.
The key members of the team who won included Sarah Nabb, who garnered the Prose Silver, Program Oral Interpretation Gold and Duo Interpretation Silver alongside duo partner Herrera.
Alberto Mireles earned the Dramatic Interp Silver with Nickolas Montero earning Dramatic Interp Bronze.
Gordon Ip earned Poetry Bronze and the team earned Second Limited Entry Division in the team sweep awards.
Herrera garnered the most awards with Prose Gold, Program Interp Silver and Poetry Silver.
“Every moment is a struggle in an activity as competitive as forensics. Every performance must be perfect to compete at this level,” Smith said. “From start to finish, every team member played a major role in this win.”
Herrera is the first ELAC student to ever win the Pentathlon Award. The Pentathlon award is awarded to those who earn the highest number of points in multiple individual interpretation events.
“Being one of the first to win (from ELAC) is an amazing feeling,” Herrera said. “I was completely shocked and ovewhelmed. It was a beautiful moment in my life.”
The team has gained the support of Department Chair Michael Kasnetsis for playing a major role in getting the team to where they need to be on a national level.
“The administrative support both of these individuals have shown the team is greatly appreciated,” Smith said.
The team is going on to compete in the national competition in the first and second week of April with
leading a small portion of the team into the competition.
“The team does not have a second to lose,” Smith said. “We are already focused on Nationals. The future looks bright, but there’s always room for improvement and we are doing everything within our power to make every performance as good as it possibly be.”