Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big-time Joy at GMU

BP Students Shine at a Classic in December

By Norberto Troncoso

The Bronx Prep Speech Team ended their 2010 competing year with a big finish at a national tournament - the Patriot Games Classic, hosted by George Mason University. Joy Akinfenwa led dozen-strong BP squad with a spectacular 6th place finish in Poetry and a quarterfinal finish in Prose. Sahirah Johnson and Clementina Nyarko also finished big by reaching the quarterfinals in Dramatic Interpretation and Impromptu, respectively.

Joy Akinefenwa, a rookie in her first year competing in forensics entered in four categories for the tournament: Poetry, Prose, Drama, and Impromptu. She worked rigorously to reach the Quarterfinals of two events - known as "double-breaking". She worked hard even as her voice dwindled away, advancing to the Semifinals in Poetry. With the whole team cheering her onl, Joy progressed to the Final round - putting her in the final six of a competition that began with over 100 hundred competitors from all over the nation and marking her as a top notch competitor at the Patriot Games. Her finish also qualified her for the New York State Championships in Oral Interpretation, where she will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with.

Sahirah Johnson, a one-year veteran competitor of the speech team, made a big debut last year when she qualified for states after joining the team in December. She was in good form at one of the biggest tournaments of the year, portraying Billie Holiday, while mentoring students in the Bronx Prep Academy. Sahirah competed in Prose, Poetry and Drama for the tournament and showed great progress. She broke into the Quarterfinals and also earned her qualification for the State Championships.

Clementina Nyarko, a new addition to the team, was competing at GMU in her first away tournament and had a great finish. She was triple-entered, but mainly focused on her Impromptu entry and managed to break at a national tournament - an acknowledgable feat for any rookie on the team.

After a long, exhausting tournament with the whole squad competing in an average of 11 rounds on the weekend, the team went back to the hotel for a homemade Mexican feast. They prepared make-your-own tacos and quesadillas in the hotel rooms and had time to bond and grow together as a family - a relaxed and wonderful finish to an intense and successful tournament.

Recognition is also due to first-time competitors Oliva Lettsome and Omar Ortiz, who also competed in their first away tournament.

With a squad of over 20 students regularly competing locally, the team prepares for a 2011 like never before.

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