March 17, 2017 – The Seattle Academy Speech team placed third overall at the 2017 WA 3A state championship on Saturday, March 11, at the University of Puget Sound. SAAS also brought home an individual state championship, as Lily Staton ’18 placed first in Humorous Interpretation. There were ten additional state finalists who placed in the top seven in the state for their events. Esme DeCoster ’18 placed second in Dramatic Interpretation, while Lila Sangster ’18 was second overall in Prose/Poetry Interpretation. Fourth place finishes went to Tessa Malone ‘18 in Humorous Interpretation, Erin Devereux ’17 and Coco McNeil ’17 in Duo, and Aliya Schenck ’18 in Oratory. Avidan Baral ’18 and Luca Rogoff ’18 took fifth in Duo. Sydney Kaplan ’18 was sixth in Humorous, and Allie Morrison ’18 was sixth in Prose/Poetry. Erin Devereux ’17 had an outstanding state tournament, breaking to finals in two different events with her fourth place Duo and a sixth place finish in Dramatic. In Extemporaneous speech, Avi Shapiro ’18 placed seventh overall, earning a trip to the Extemp Tournament of Champions at Northwestern University in May.
The Bear Creek School placed second, and Gig Harbor High School took the 2016-17 overall 3A team title. Eighty different students represented Seattle Academy at forensic meets throughout the 2016-17 season. Twenty-three went on to qualify for the state tournament.
“Wherever we end the season’” says head coach Joel Underwood, “our team philosophy doesn’t change. Otherwise you end up constantly adjusting your team identity to try to emulate whoever’s on top at the moment, and eventually you’ve lost who you are as a program. Our Seattle Academy Speech team will always prioritize leaving comfort zones and finding your voice.”
Staton, Malone, Schenck, and DeCoster are now eligible to go on to represent Washington in their events at the national Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Kansas City this May. SAAS has been at the TOC every Spring since its inaugural year of 2010.
While awards, recognition, and achievement are certainly outstanding, all the coaches and competitors agree that the skills gained and practiced—research, writing, oratory, and argumentation—are the true rewards of being on this team. Many thanks to the entire school community for your support!
For more information, live tournament updates from nationals, and all the latest Speech news, the team can be followed on Twitter: @SAASSpeech
Below: Lily Staton ’18 with her state championship medal. Lisa took first place in Humorous Interpretation.