Posted on: April 14, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Aidan McGuire

By Connor Dore, Multimedia Editor

The Moraine Valley speech team ended its season with a national title once again, after doing it four times prior in 2006, 2010, 2013, and 2018. In this year’s national tournament in St. Louis, the team went head-to-head with 40 other schools, bringing home three gold medals, two silver, six bronze, and two coach awards.

Photo by John Nash
Oswaldo Ocampo, Robert Murillo and Aidan McGuire show off their national gold awards.

Team captain Aidan McGuire took gold in Impromptu Speaking, an event that gives the speaker two minutes to prepare a five-minute-long speech. He also took bronze in Informative Speaking.

“This accomplishment felt unreal,” McGuire said. “The entire team’s accomplishments did. I think we were all having a difficult time processing our success even after the award ceremony was over.”

Oswaldo Ocampo took gold in Dramatic Interpretation, an event that involves taking a published piece of literature and performing it within a ten-minute time limit. He took on the character Archie from a play called “So, I Killed a Few People.” Ocampo also won silvers in Speaking to Entertain and Persuasive Speaking.

“Winning gold was a great surprise to me,” Ocampo said. “However, I was able to prove to myself that after six years of speech my hard work and passion for this activity goes recognized and praised.”

Robert Murillo took gold in Persuasive Speaking after persuading judges to consider ambulances and EMTs an essential service.

“To win gold was a big accomplishment, but at the end of the day it wasn’t what I was there to do,” Murillo said. “Our team put in so much work throughout the season and made pieces that really touched people. I was most proud of giving a speech that affected others.”

Photo by John Nash
From left to right are speech coaches Damian Samsonowicz (volunteer coach), Amanda Pettigrew, John Nash, and Krista Appelquist.

Itzel Rojas took bronze medals in Poetry Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation, Eli Zwiesler was awarded bronze in Speaking to Entertain, and Eliza Perkovich was awarded bronze in Prose Interpretation and Program of Oral Interpretation.

Coach Krista Appelquist won the Phi Rho Pi Service award for demonstrating outstanding service to the speech community.

“It was an honor to be recognized,” Appelquist said. “I thrive in the creativity of this activity; researching topics, crafting arguments, adding jokes, picking dramatic scripts, and the performance of all of it.

“Watching my students succeed is so rewarding. That’s what keeps me so attached.”

MV speech team alum Bill Lucio won the Collie-Taylor Coach Fellowship award. Lucio was team captain between 2005 and 2006. He now coaches the speech team at Harper College.

With reactions of excitement, disbelief and praise, the one who seemed most proud of his national champions was head coach John Nash.

Photo by John Nash
The speech team includes Oswaldo Ocampo, Ameet Dhaliwal, Chayse Mueller, Itzel Rojas, team captain Aidan McGuire, Eliza Perkovich, Robert Murillo, Eli Zwiesler, and Alexis Lyons.

“We really didn’t know what to expect because a lot of the tournaments this year were online,” Nash said. “Going to as many face-to-face tournaments as we could this year is something that might’ve really helped us.”

Nash was proud of all the students and coaches for staying calm and not letting the nerves get to them.

The tournament spanned an entire week with events spanning multiple days, but one day really stuck out in Nash’s mind.

“The opening banquet was pretty powerful,” Nash said. “After the banquet, we go back and have a team meeting. It’s the evening before competition starts. The team members’ families all sent good luck letters to their students unbeknownst to them.

“So the night before competition, I give them all of their good luck letters from home. It’s a really emotional experience for the team just knowing they have that support from their loved ones.”