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Speech Team stellar with 2 state championships -- and more

Speech Team stellar with 2 state championships -- and more

When she joined the Speech Team three years ago, junior Katie Bauman had a goal to qualify for the National Interstate Oratory Tournament, the oldest oratory (or persuasive) speech contest in the country.


Last weekend, when Heidelberg hosted the Ohio Forensics Association State Varsity Championship, Katie walked away with second place in Persuasive Speaking, qualifying her for the national tournament in April in Oklahoma City. Only two competitors per state are eligible.

And that was just the beginning.

With her two first-place finishes, senior Hannah Petitti earned two state championships – in Debate and in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Rounding out the team’s excellent showing, Katie placed third in Broadcast and fourth in Informative Speaking, and sophomore McCartney Betz earned two fifth-place finishes in Programmed Oral Interpretation and Broadcast.

Overall, the Heidelberg team earned the Team Sweepstakes Presidents Division highest award, third place in the Team Debate Sweepstakes and the tournament’s Quality Award for the highest average scores per entry.

All of this left Speech Team Coach Dan Higgins beaming.

“It was a phenomenal tournament for Heidelberg,” Dan said. As he proudly presented their plaques to his dedicated speakers at the awards banquet Saturday night, he admitted, “I couldn’t stop smiling. It was awesome.”

The host with the most

The Heidelberg speakers definitely seized home-field advantage during the tournament, hosted on campus for the first time in about a decade. It took a total team effort, Dan said. Communication & Media Department Chair Dr. Robin Heaton and practicum student, senior Mallory Paul, deserve huge credit for helping to pull everything together.

“The tournament would not have happened on campus without Robin Heaton,” Dan said. “She was absolutely instrumental in bringing this about, and it was a sizable undertaking.”

Heidelberg hosted a total of 66 students and coaches from eight colleges and universities in Ohio.

State Champion Showcase

The campus community will have an opportunity to see the award-winning Speech Team during their annual Showcase event at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Founders Little Theatre.

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