Monday, December 21, 2009

Road Trip!

Bronx Prep Speech Brings Twenty to Virginia as Program Continues its Expansion

Fairfax, VA - The BP Speech Team competed in the Patriot Games over the first weekend of December at the campus of George Mason University outside of Washington, D.C., fielding its biggest squad to date. Twelve students made up a whopping 33 entries while seven chaperones came along for the trip as well as one mascot, Siri Quarfordt.

The team competed in eight different events, with some students entered in as many as five events as they worked through an extremely long day of competition on Saturday. In the evening, the team gathered in one of its four hotel rooms to touch base and marvel at the growth that's come about this season. The names are too many to list, so shoutouts to the chaperones that donated an entire weekend of their time to supervise and judge for Bronx Prep: Ms. Melkonian, Ms. Wilson, Ms. Bryant, Ms. Rodriguez and her husband, Mr. Laboy all joined Mr. Simon and Ms. Q and are responsible for allowing the team to compete in so many events. Their committment over the weekend makes our progress possible.

The results? The team may have traded quantity for quality as only one of the thirty-three entries saw action past the preliminary rounds. It should be no surprise that that was senior and Team Manager, Chris Moncrief, a nationally-recognized speaker who reached the Semifinal round of Original Oratory, but was denied a spot in the Final Six for a second year in a row.

For the rest of the team, it's go time. The hiatus over the winter break is short and vital as the team prepares for competitions practically every weekend when school resumes. The raw elements are there: The Talent (never in question), The Coaching (now a staff of three with the addition of Ms. Sheridan Johnson), The Support (see the list of mad chaperones above), and The Pieces (have you heard about The Shipment...?). The only thing missing from this list is the one thing keeping the team from its most successful year yet: Hard Work. Focus, committment and practice, practice, practice will bring this squad to the next level. This is one blogger shooting for quality to match quantity when this expanding squad embarks on its next road trip.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Glory and Heartbreak in the City of Brotherly Love

BP Speech traveled to Philadelphia over the weekend of November 21-22 and saw experienced members of the team leading by example, with seniors Chris Moncrief, Tayshawn Layton and Deborah Allen-Carr all reaching the Semifinals of the nationally-competitive Villiger Invitational at St. Joseph's University.

It was a spirited squad that traipsed around the Gothic architecture of the West Philly campus with the Now-Familiar Student Congress team (Monica Lindsay, Autumwind Spear, Norberto Troncoso), the Active Upstart (Marissa Charlemagne - presenting three different pieces), and the Old Standards (Keegon Robinson, Moncrief, Alenn-Carr and Layton). Nearly every student double-entered for the tournament, competing in two different events, sometimes with two memorized pieces. It was Chris Moncrief who scored big in both his events, reaching the Quarterfinals and then the Semifinals in both Original Oratory and Oral Interpretation - putting him in the top twelve finishers in both competitions, but leaving him one round shy of Finals competitions. Meanwhile, the Duo team of Tayshawn Layton and Deborah Allen-Carr presented their interpretation of the play, Matt and Ben, portraying Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. They played to a packed audience in the Semis round, but also missed out on Finals.

The results are clear indications of the hard work and progress going on after school in the Library and Room 201, as well as an indication of the room for improvement needed to make a Finals push at the upcoming competitions.

Other non-competition related highlights for the team were a raucous evening at IHOP followed by the annual Villiger Dance Party, where the team amazed fellow competitors with mad crazy dance moves.

Huge thanks from the team to Halie Berson and John Aronson for judging, chaperoning - you made the whole trip possible.

Next up is the big, bad Patriot Games tournament all the way down in Fairfax, Virginia. Stay tuned for the full report.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Rookie Sensation? BP Speech Expanding in All Directions

The Bronx Prep Speech Team debuted a number of fresh faces at the team's backyard tournament held at Fordham University. Jyeisha Reyes, Marcus Smith, Melanie Nyarko, Marissa Charlemagne, and Monica Lindsay all competed in their first tournament while Matt Alston and Tiffany McLarty made their 09-10 season debuts. Meanwhile, team Manager Chris Moncrief extended his breaking streak by representing the team in the finals of Original Oratory.

Preparing for a speech tournament is hard work and the coach and team officers want to shout out each new competitor for getting up early, getting dressed up, putting it on the line and performing in front of judges and competitors from all over the city. The atmosphere at the tournament was as electric as always and seems to have made an impact on the new speech team members; Marcus, Marissa and Monica have all begun traveling with the team as competition regulars and Jyeisha and Melanie have a coach cutting their own piece for them for next month!

In addition to new faces, the Bronx Prep team added an entire competition event to its repetoire as the Student Congress team also made its debut in the form of Norberto Troncoso, Autumnwind Spear and Monica Linsday. These students became representatives and senators for the day, debating legislation and making speeches. The Congress team learned a lot at Fordham and set some clear goals for themselves as this burgeoning branch of the BP Speech Team continues to grow.

And the hardware? That belonged to Chris Moncrief who surprised no one in the building by appearing in the final round of Oratory. But there's clearly still work to be done - Chris finished out of the top 5 and was recognized as a Finalist.

From humble beginnings and a small squad as recently as last year, this season's Bronx Prep team could regularly be bringing a dozen students to local competitions. If these fresh faces find success like last year's squad... the forensics students in the New York City League may have cause for concern.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Speech Seniors Score with Strong Start

October 24th, 2009

The Bronx Prep Speech team attended its first NYCFL league tournament over the weekend and saw big success from the veterans, while the rest of the squad helped flesh out a team that was represented in nearly every main event offered for competition.

In a stark contrast to last season, in which zero seniors competed for the Bronx Prep team all year, on Saturday five seniors were entered in the tournament, which was held at Regis and Loyola High Schools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Keegon Robinson (Varsity OI), Chris Moncrief (Original Oratory), Deborah Allen-Carr and Tayshawn Layton (Duo Interpretation) and Ingrid Villafrance all represented the class of 2010, with Mr. Moncrief and the team of Layton/Allen-Carr reaching the final round. The ladies finished tied with the second-best point total on the day, but tiebreakers put them in 5th place, while Chris finished in 2nd place - good enough to earn him a half-qualification for the State Championship tournament in April. Team Captain Keegon Robinson posted a first place finish in his third round and first-time competitor Ingrid may have been bitten by the speech bug - rumors abound that she may compete in Student Congress at an upcoming tournament.

Rounding out the team were Alethea Brown, making her 09-10 debut and showing strong potential playing four Crown Heights residents in the category of Dramatic Performance and rookie sensation Norberto Troncoso who competed in Extemporaneous Speaking - researching, memorizing and performing three seven-minute speeches, each in only a half hour!

With competitors in five different events, this is the most diverse Bronx Prep team to compete locally in several years - a good sign for a team looking to expand its presence and its numbers on the local scene.

Special thanks to Mr. Dude - Matthew Simon - for once again proving his dedication to the team by judging three rounds and to Ms. Halie Berson and Mr. John Aronson, the team's other judge and observer judge, respectively. This pair even showed up with bagels which the team reported were, "really good".

One more league tournament on November 14th, before the showdown in Philly that is the Villiger Tournament the following weekend. Also on the horizon is the Patriot Games Classic - the perenially expanding one-of-a-kind tournament at George Mason University.

Stay tuned for a report on the JV squad's intra-team competition, to be held at the school on October 28th.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And They're Off

October 4th, 2009

The Bronx Prep Speech team kicked off the 09-10 campaign last weekend at the invitational tournament hosted by Yale University. What can be learned from a tournament so early in the year? Practice, practice, practice.

The team worked hard in the days and hours leading up to the first round, but saw strong competition from powerhouse schools from all over the country. Bronx Prep's scrappy squad managed to get it all together before the tournament, but they were up against students with polished performances - the result of months of hard work at Speech Institutes and on their own over the summer. Although the team was represented on Sunday in the form of Chris Moncrief's Oral Interpretation, the overall experience must be measured as just that - experience for several large and small tournaments to come.

An early tournament is a wild card and this year's Yale Invitational was no exception. Students were able to compete in several events at once - forcing competitors to leave one round early to trek across campus to get to another round in a different event. The campus must have looked pretty bizarre to passersby as teenagers in formal business attire criss-crossed the quadrangles of the Ivy League school. Members of the Bronx Prep team competed in one event each at Yale. The team was made up of Keegon Robinson, Chris Moncrief, Autumnwind Spear, Tayshawn Layton, and rookie sensation Norberto Tronscosco. Each competed in OI (Prose/Poetry) except Ms. Layton who performed as four different Iraqi women, competing in Dramatic Interpretation. Each student gained the valuable experience that comes with competing at a national-level tournament against quality competition for experienced judges. Senior Chris Moncrief's Quarterfinal finish is a testament to the Manager's talent and familiarity in such high-level tournaments.

The team gives mad props and a huge thank you to Mr. So for coaching, chaperoning, and joining the Bronx Prep Speech team.

What comes next? The local tournaments of the NYCFL. On October 24th and November 7th, the team will clash with students in the local New York City league at Regis High School and Fordham Prep, respectively, to see who will establish themselves as the speaker or team to beat this year. Will we see some hardware starting to fill up the BP Library? If the Yale Invitational is any indication, it will all come down to practice.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bronx Prep's Stars Fall on Alabama

June 20, 2009

To close out the season, top members of the Bronx Prep speech team headed out to Birmingham, Alabama to match up against the best of the best at the National Championships of the National Forensics League.

The competition was as fierce as expected, although half of the team's results were somewhat surprising.

Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton, BP's top Duo team, came into the tournament in top form, wowing coaches and competitors alike and drawing praise and acclaim from most everyone that saw them compete... everyone, that is, except several judges, whose less-than-stellar ranks kept the ladies out of the elimination rounds. With a national reputation, a crowd-pleasing introduction, and a fresh take on a familiar story, this team seemed to have all the ingredients to go deep into the tournament. But it's the rankings that matter and these results were as surprising as they were frustrating.

Meanwhile, Chris Moncrief, competing in Original Oratory, went for broke and overhauled his entire speech before the tournament. Despite what many, including this blogger, have called a "dream season", Chris gutted the speech that brought him so much hardware this year, seeking a new way to express himself cleary and genuinely in his speech on scars and healing. The gamble paid off in a big way as Chris competed through to the National Semifinals, missing the National Final Round by a single point. He finished 8th place in the United States. An incredible achievement to cap an incredible season.

The best news? All three of Bronx Prep's National Qualifiers have at least one more year of competition to go. With the experience of competing at this level under their belts, the sky is the limit for what they and their teammates can achieve in 09-10. After watching final rounds on the last day, the goal for the next season was clear: a Bronx Prep student on the stage, competing in Finals for a National Championship. Can the team reach the pinnacle of High School Forensics next year? Keep it tuned here to find out.

Until then, congratulations to the entire team for an extraordinary season. The groundwork is layed and the work begins now for a new season that will truly be something big.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fat Cats at Cat Nats

May 24, 2009

Albany, NY - Bronx Prep brought a formidable squad to the National Championships of the Catholic Forensics League this year and came away with some hardware. BP students Jamej Lawton, Matthew Alston, Tiffany McLarty, Tayshawn Layton (Duo Interpretation), Keegon Robinson (Oral Interpretation), and Chris Moncrief (Original Oratory) all represented not only their school, but the entire district of New York City as national qualifiers.

The competition was stiff; students qualified from nearly every state in the country and they descended on Albany, New York to test their mettle against one another. But after four rounds of preliminary competition, half of Bronx Prep's four entries were still in the game.

Chris Moncrief performed his oratory early Sunday morning in the octofinal round while the Duo team of Layton/McLarty competed in octos in another part of the capital. Disaster struck for the Duo team when McLarty's voice failed her due to a case of laryngitis and the team did not advance to the next round. However, Moncrief's performance in octos was enough to get him through to the quarterfinal round. This impressive achievement means that Chris was amongst the top 25 student orators amongst thousands of students competing in the CFL throughout the country. He performed admirably in quarters, but, surprisingly, did not advance to the semifinals.

Despite the frustrations, the team can take several positives away from the experience. The first is the size of the squad at the tournament. A remarkable seven Bronx Prep students qualified for CFL nationals this year. In order to qualify, a student must place in the top six of their event at the national qualifier, which was held in Manhattan in March (see blog post: Nationals II; BP Seech Straight Up OD's With It). Secondly, CFL nationals, despite being an unpredictable tournament, provides competitors with the opportunity to meet and see students perform from all over the country, giving a sense of what speech is like in every other region in the US. And finally, the ballots from the tournament also reflect the geographic diversity of the tournament. BP students received critiques from coaches with years of experience, hailing from every corner of America. Often, the best way to improve is to find the common thread of criticism from a variety of judges in order to adjust one's performance to make it impressive to every single person that sees it. Here's hoping the experience at the catholic nationals or "cat nats" provided such opportunities to each of the seven talented Bronx students that competed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


April 26, 2009

Albany, New York - The Bronx Prep Speech Team competed at the 2009 New York State Championships in April and began the postseason with a bang. Jamej Lawton filled in for an unavailable Tiffany McLarty, teaming up with Tayshawn Layton for big results. Their Duo team reached the semifinals of competition, making them one of 2009's top ten duo teams in New York state. In addition, Chris Moncrief, competing in Original Oratory, reached the final round of the State Championships, finishing in second place.

The accomplishments are doubly impressive given the fact that these students needed to qualify just to compete at this tournament. Students qualify for states by placing at at least two tournaments during the year. Chris, Tayshawn and her Duo partner for the season, Tiffany, posted strong finishes over the course of the year and earned the opportunity to compete against New York's finest forensic students.

Tiffany was unable to compete at States, but Jamej Lawton filled in admirably, learning an entire piece in under a week to wind up in the semifinals of the state championships.

Meanwhile, Chris's achievement is nothing short of stellar, yet hardly surprising, as he has proven himself as one of the state's top orators throughout the year.

Congratulations to all; here's hoping next year we crown a Bronx Prep State Champion.

Monday, March 9, 2009


March 7, 2009

Battery Park City, New York - The Bronx Prep speech team came through with a dominant performance over the weekend as every single BP student competing on Saturday not only reached the final round, but finished in the top six and qualified for the CFL National tournament in May.

The results are, quite simply, remarkable. Chris Moncrief (Original Oratory) and Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton (Duo Interpretation) were nearly perfect as they marched through the tournament and finished in first place. Chris and Tiff and Tay were each judged by nine judges on the day and in both cases, eight of the nine judges ranked them first in their rounds.

Matthew Alston and Jamej Lawton provided a success story of their own. The team is not incredibly well-known on the circuit, as they have only competed three times this year, but they snuck through to finals and a fifth place finish, putting them in the company of the other Bronx Prep duo team as qualifiers for the CFL National Tournament, to be held in Albany, NY in May.
Bronx Prep was the only school at the tournament to qualify two duo teams for nationals.

Bronx Prep's fourth entry was Keegon Robinson, competing in Oral Interpretation (Prose/Poetry). OI had the most students competing on Saturday of any event, but Keegon still managed to narrowly reach the semi-final round, only to post a stellar performance, win the round, and come from behind to earn his ticket to nationals. His hard work this year is truly paying off in the form of an opportunity to compete at a national level.

The team finished 10th in the overall team sweepstakes - a strong showing considering they brought only four entries (compared to Stuyvesant's sixteen and Regis's eighteen).

As the speech "post-season" approaches, here's a re-cap of the Bronx Prep qualifiers:

Already qualified for the New York State Championships (Albany, April) are Chris Moncrief and Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton. Half-qualified are Keegon Robinson and Deborah Allen-Carr (OI). Jamej Lawton and Matt Alston have no half-quals for states as of yet, but, along with Deborah and Keegon, they will have the opportunity to join Chris, Tiff and Tay by qualifying in one of the next two weekends.

Qualified for the NFL National tournament (Montgomery, Alabama, June) are Chris, Tiffany and Tayshawn and this past weekend's qualifiers for the CFL National tournament (Albany, May) are: Chris, Tiffany, Tayshawn, Matt, Jamej and Keegon.

It was an historic success for the program; congratulations to all of you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


March 1, 2009

Syosset, NY - Last night, three Bronx Prep students earned their spots at this year's NFL National Championship tournament by outlasting the competition in a dramatic day of competition at Syosset High School in Long Island. Chris Moncrief, Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Lawton will all be representing the New York City NFL district in June at the National Championships in Mongomery, Alabama.

Competing in Original Oratory, Chris Moncrief's first place finish at this tournament was never really a surprise. Chris has finished ahead of all but two student orators in 2009, competing against hundreds of students at several tournaments on both sides of the country. He brought his usual poised, relaxed demeanor to the competition and walked away with a first place trophy and a coveted plaque indicating his second qualification for the NFL nationals in as many years.

Tiffany and Tayshawn, competing in Duo Interpretation, also came into the tournament as front-runners to qualify, but they're finish was hardly a foregone conclusion. They brought the house down with a smashing semi-final round performance of their creative, high-energy interpretation of the Disney classic, The Lion King. However, the final round was a very different enterprise. They worked through their piece with conviction, clarity and passion as a subdued audience seemed to find far more drama in the piece than comedy. Tiff and Tay finished in second place - good enough for their very own slot at nationals as the top three competitors in each event qualify for the national competition.

Also posting strong marks were Keegon Robinson and Jamej Lawton, competing in Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation, respectively. Although they were not able to reach the semi-final rounds, both young men capitalized on their recent hard work and earned praise from judges and competitors alike.

Next weekend brings the CFL National Qualifier and a second opportunity to qualify for a national forensics championship. In the CFL qualifier, the top six competitors in each event qualify, opening up the field and creating an opportunity for several more Bronx Prep students to qualify. The tournament is in the afternoon at Stuyvesant High School in Battery Park City. Come on down and support the team!

JV Squad Scores in Boston

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


JV Squad Scores in Boston


Watertown, MA - The Bronx Prep Middle School Speech Team showed some serious promise for the HS team's future, bringing home hardware from their own tournament at the Jewish Community Day School outside of Boston. The small team was made up of the duo team of Kadeem Penny and Edison Hines and a hard-working Emmanuel Cruz, double-entered in Prose and Poetry. After a day of competition, all the boys wound up with trophies as Emmanuel took second place in Poetry and Edison and Kadeem tore it up in the duo final round and came home as champions in their event.

The JV Squad's accomplishments over the weekend were the culmination of a great deal of hard work over the course of the week leading up to the competition. The Hines/Penny combination came together at just the right moment, posting strong ranks in the final round of the speech world's most popular event - Duo Interpretation. The round prompted the brash, young Kadeem Penny to predict a championship - minutes later his called shot came through. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Cruz missed his Prose final round, but rode three first place rankings in Poetry to within a hair of first place, settling for a stirring silver in Poetry Interpretation.

Overall, an accomplished and encouraging weekend from the young guns, who couldn't have asked for much more - save company, as a series of unfortunate events kept other competitors at home. Here's hoping a full-strength team follows suit with twice as many trophies next time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moncrief 2nd in California; Lion King to Semis

February 17, 2009

The Bronx Prep Speech team flexed its muscles on both coasts last month with a strong showing against some first-class competition at the California Invitation tournament at the University of California, Berkeley and the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In California, Bronx Prep was represented by only a pair of entries - Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton in Duo Interpretation and Chris Moncrief in Original Oratory.
After a weekend of preliminary competition, all three students found themselves in the semifinals, competing on the last day of competition. Against nearly one hundred other teams, Tayshawn and Tiffany finished in the top ten amongst some seriously talented duo teams, many of which are likely to be seen in the elimination rounds at this year's NFL National Championships. Chris Moncrief streaked all the way to finals and finished in 2nd place - another spectacular showing in what is becoming something of a dream season for Mr. Moncrief.
After the competition, Chris, Tiffany and Tayshawn all traveled to Los Angeles for visits to college campuses. They reported having a "good" time.

The same weekend, the Bronx Prep speech team was represented on the east coast at the speech world's biggest tournament of the year - the Harvard Invitational. Jamej Lawton and Keegon Robinson were chaperoned by Ms. Denise Moncrief and competed against many of the best high school speech students in the country. Although Jamej and Keegon did not finish in the elimation rounds, they each received strong marks with Jamej taking first place in one of his rounds.

Stay tuned for a post reporting the dramatic events of the NFL national qualifier over the weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bronx Prep Post 1/18/09


January 17, 2009

E. 84th ST., NEW YORK, NY - The Bronx Prep Speech team saw an all-star result yesterday as seven of the eight BP students at the Regis tournament competed in the final round of their events. Deborah Allen-Carr, Matt Alston, Jamej Lawton, Tayshawn Layton, Tiffany McLarty, Chris Moncrief, and Keegon Robinson all performed well enough to earn spots in finals and an overall 9th place finish in the team competition.

In the individual events, Moncrief brought his championship tally on the year to three with another first place victory in Original Oratory while Keegon Robinson impressed all, but surprised none with a second place finish during which he was ranked first place by five out of the six judges to see him perform on the day. Keegon represented Bronx Prep along with rising star Deborah Allen-Carr in the Varsity Oral Interpretation final round while the two Bronx Prep Duo teams - McLarty/Layton and Alston/Lawton competed in a final round of their own. They finished in 5th place and as finalists, respectively.

In the end, an exceptionally successful day for a team that continues to excel and expand in its breadth of success. The ninth place finish in the team sweepstakes competition is an indicator of the success that this small, scrappy team is having, in competition against teams several times their own size such as Regis High School, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science. Special recognition is due to Keegon Robinson who broke through yesterday after logging far and away the most practice hours after school. A playful workhorse, Keegon proved the value of consistent practice as his hours paid off in the form of a coveted half-qualification for the state championships, held in Albany in April.

At a crucial time in the season, it appears that the team may be hitting its stride. Matt Alston and Jamej Lawton emerged as the possible duo team of the (immediate) future, performing a raunchy comedy/drama and landing in the final round after a short week of practice. With more work, they could see real results at either of the two tournaments still to come in January.

No rest for the weary. The loaded winter speech schedule means the team will divide and conquer this weekend at two very competitive national tournaments held in Atlanta and New York. Chris, Keegon, Tiff and Tay head to the dirty dirty to compete in what many consider to be the most competitive speech tournament of the year - the Barkeley Forum Competition, held at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. They'll fly to Atlanta to clash with many of the top students in the nation while the team upstarts: Matt, Jamej, Deborah, Alethea Brown, Nina Robinson, Taylor Blackford, and wild card Myles Miller head cross-town for the other major speech tournament in this country next weeked, held at Columbia University in the upper west side.

Congratulations to all and best of luck at the national tournaments coming up.

Bronx Prep Post - 1/28/09



Atlanta, GA - Chris Moncrief led by example over the weekend as the speech team's President posted a 2nd place finish in Original Oratory at the Barkley Forum Tournament at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Meanwhile, his teammate Deborah Allen-Carr represented the team back in New York with a very strong showing in Oral Interpretation at the Columbia tournament in the Upper West Side. Chris's accomplishment establishes him as one of the top student orators in the nation. Chris competed against students from some of the best programs in the country, including powerhouse high school Apple Valley, in Minneapolis, MN, which was represented by an impressive three students in the final round. Yet it was Bronx Prep's own, Mr. Moncrief, finishing in this prestigous tournament ahead of all but one of the country's best.

The Barkley Forum tournament has long been the best opportunity of the year for the top speech and debate students in each region of the country to meet in Atlanta and test their mettle against one another. The tournament's rules allow each school only eight entries in the entire tournament. This results in a competition stacked with only the best of the best going head to head. Chris improved on last year's semifinal finish by marching through the tournament to the final round, during which he competed on stage in front of an audience of over one hundred. After a bizarre "snafu" from the tabulation room, during which the finalists in original oratory were announced in the wrong order, the dust settled and Chris went home with an impressive piece of hardware: a large hollow mahogany book with a silver key affixed to the front. But the intagibles of a second place finish at Emory are what will surely leave the more lasting impression.

Chris was joined in Atlanta by Keegon Robinson (who posted a strong showing in his first time ever competing in DI) and Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton. At the same time, the rest of the Bronx Prep speech team was competing at Columbia University, the country's other major forensics competition over the weekend. It was here that Deborah Allen-Carr continued to impress by streaking all the way to the semifinal round of Oral Interpration (also known as Prose/Poetry), only to miss finals by a single point. She finished in 7th place and earned a coveted half-qualification for the New York State Championships.

At this point, Bronx Prep has two entries qualified for States: Chris Moncrief in OO and the Duo team of Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton. In Oral Interpretation, Keegon Robinson and Deborah Allen-Carr are each half-qualified for states and will compete against one another and students from all over the metropolitan area this Saturday at Sacred Heart High School in Greenwich, CT. If either of them finishes in the top four, they should qualify for the State Championships. They will be joined by Jamej Lawton and Matthew Alston who will try to build off of their finals finish at the Regis tournament and look to pick up a half-qual of their own in Duo Interp. Alethea Brown rounds out the field as the team's lone entry in JV OI.

Congratulations to all and here's looking ahead to another successful local tournament at Sacred Heart on Saturday.