By Pamela Estrada
Speech team is one of few community colleges teams to attain four, 1st place, national titles in four consecutive years as of last month.
On April the team took part in the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Daytona Beach Florida. This event put ELAC on top when the speech team brought home the 1st place gold for the “Wheeler Division Individual Events.”
“This was an important win for us, and for the school, because we want everyone we compete with to know that East Los Angeles College is a school of excellence,” said ELAC Forensics Director, David Hale.
In addition to the Phi Rho Pi National tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida, they also competed at the National Forensics Association National Tournament in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which also marked the first year the team competed at two national level tournaments.
The speech team won six gold medals, two silver, and ten bronze.
The team took down fifty-five participating schools from across the nation. They also conquered above 800 individual entries.
What marks these accomplishments as amazing is that they kept their top rank while competing at a higher division this year.
“It’s never about the win. It’s about the team bond that gets us to where we are,” said Maya Origel a competitor with the team.
“Never underestimate us.” said Staci Orozco a newcomer who just started with the team.
This year’s honors mirror those of the teams first year. When they competed at the National Forensics Association National Tournament, they gained fourth place in the President II Division and 17 overall, out of 64 schools in which 61 of them were universities.
ELAC was the highest-ranking from any school in California. The outranked schools were Cal State University Los Angeles, California State University Long Beach, California State University Fullerton, California State University-Chico, University of the Pacific, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and San Jose State University, making it the top community college.
Hale said the team is made up of 60 on and off students who take part. The travel team is made up of 13 students as reported by Origel. The speech section of the team is coached by adjunct faculty members Alixandria Lopez, DeRod Taylor, Jedi Curva, Trisha Brodak-Silva and student tutor Paxton Attridge. The debate section of the team is coached by professor Myhanh Anderson.
The team has also gained local victories within California. The speech team competed at the California Community Colleges Forensic Association State Tournament in Sacramento. At this even there were more than 25 schools participating. They also had over 350 and fifty individual entries. ELAC speech team walked away with a total of one bronze, four silver, and three gold medals.
The speech Team has embedded itself in history.
“This win has further cemented our reputation across the nation as the speech team to beat,” said Hale.