Tuesday, November 2, 2010

BP Speech: Onwards and Upwards

October 23, 2010

The Bronx Prep Speech Team continued its growth with another successful local tournament over the weekend. Once again, team Manager Joy Akinfenwa led the way as she appeared in Finals for the second straight tournament. Simultaneously, this year's young guns each made their case to be crowned the new Rookie Sensation, with Dianeiris Vasquez staking the early claim, as she also reached the Final Round.

With a team of 11 entries, this was the biggest Bronx Prep squad to enter a local competition in several years. Many members of the young team were competing for their first time and deserve special recognition. These newbies are Samantha White, Dianeiris Vasquez, Paula Castillo, and Olivia Lettsome. Congratulations for putting in the hard work to prepare for your first tournament.

Of the Rookies, Dianeiris led the way - with impressive first place finishes in two of her first three rounds. Her scores put her in Finals, where she impressed the audience as well as the judges with her energy, spunk and comedic chops. She finished in a tie for 7th place - good enough for the coveted half-qualification for this year's State Championship.

In her own Final Round, Joy performed her free verse poem with precision and compassion. She stood on the stage at Regis High School for the second time in three weeks and once again finished at the top of the event - she paired her 3rd place finish from earlier in the month with a 4th place finish this time around and another half-qual for states.

Joy's two fantastic finishes deserve special note. She is now fully-qualled for the State Championships in April - the earliest a Bronx Prep student has qualified for the postseason in several years. Even more impressive, this is Joy's first year competing. She's learned the ropes very quickly, competing against young people with two or three years more experience and establishing herself as one of several students to beat in Varsity Oral Interpretation (Prose/Poetry) in the state of New York.

On the whole, the team enjoyed an extremely strong tournament. In addition to Dianeiris's two first place ranks, Paula, Jada, Olivia, and Jyeisha Reyes all posted first place finishes in a round of their own, while Emmanuel Cruz broke through with a 2nd and 3rd place finish. These are extremely encouraging results from a young team with limited experience, but loads of talent.

Next up for BP Speech is the home tournament - held at Fordham Prep just up the road - on November 13. Expect big things from this squad as the young guns will join the more experienced members of the team that were out of competition at Regis. Bronx Prep will be shooting for a Top Ten Team Sweepstakes finish as the group seeks to establish itself weekly as a top forensics program in New York City.

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