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.