A Catholic, college-preparatory school, grades 7-12
Students Compete Nationally

Students Compete Nationally

June 29, 2016

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Over Memorial Day weekend, Ronan Brew ('20) and Josie Ross (’17) competed at the Catholic National Speech and Debate Tournament in Sacramento, CA. The two then went on to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association's National tournament in Salt Lake City on June 12-17. They qualified based on their success in tournaments during the speech season.

“Being able to meet and reconnect with other high schoolers involved in speech throughout the nation was incredible. It makes me feel like the future of forensics (National Speech and Debate Association) as a whole is in good hands,” Josie recalled of her favorite part about the competitions.  

In Sacramento, both Josie and Ronan performed four rounds of competition in a pool of 196 in their category. The top 48 made it to "octo" finals, from these the top 24 move on to quarters, then 12 to semis and 6 to finals. It was an incredibly competitive field, and they were delighted to participate in octos where they barely missed the cut to quarters ending in joint 25th position.

Ronan and Josie had another fantastic run at a national competition. They went to the National Speech and Debate Association's National tournament in Salt Lake City. 

When asked why Josie wanted to join speech she said: “It is a family tradition, but any student on the BSM speech team knows how encouraging the coaching staff and BSM teachers are. Ms. Maura Brew, Mr. Tom Backen, Ms. Becca Meagher and Ms. Kaia Preus are just a few. All of them have been really supportive of my speeches.”

Josie qualified for the competition back in March with her Humorous Interpretation piece -- it was already a terrific accomplishment, given the level of competition in the division. Josie had 6 rounds of competition before the field of 246 were narrowed to 60.  She came in at 75th position.

“I knew my competition would be like none I had ever faced. I felt intimated when I watched others perform outside of the competition rooms. However, I felt like I gave each performance I had a great shot,” Josie said reflecting on her performances.   

Ronan began competition with his prose piece in the middle school national tournament Wednesday, June 15. It was a ten minute speech ranking 1-5 with five preliminary rounds over two days.

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“The tournament proved very stressful at times. BSM has prepared me for such experiences because of the rigorous projects and challenges I've worked through in the junior high,” Ronan explained.

After 5 grueling rounds, he broke to the quarter finals, then semis and ultimately finals. Ronan managed to qualify for the semis (top 12), moving onto the finals placing 5th in the nation.

Ronan recalls his favorite moment of the tournament, "when I found out that I had made it to finals. We were all in the car driving back from the second day of competition when I just happened to look at the website and see that they posted the final rounds. The whole car, the Uber driver included, was going crazy!"

When both asked if they would do it again if given the chance, here is what Josie and Ronan had to say…

“If I had the chance, I would definitely go back to nationals. However, I have to qualify again. I'm really just incredibly excited to see what the next year at BSM holds!” Ronan said.

And Josie said, “Most definitely. I would love to compete in both tournaments again. Both are celebrations of high school forensics, and I would love to be able to represent BSM in the celebrations.”

An accomplishment the entire BSM community applauds. Thank you for being such great representations of what it means to be a Red Knight no matter where you are in the nation.

“This was a series of wonderful performances by both Josie and Ronan, marking a great end to a wonderful season. These national tournaments are so competitive that the results are something to shout about!” exclaimed BSM English teach, Speech Coach (and Ronan's mom) Ms. Maura Brew. 

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