By: Nina Krishnan
On March 17, the MSJ Speech team set an unprecedented school record, in what has been considered their best season to date at the CAHSSA (California High School Speech Association) State Qualifier tournament at Leland High School in San Jose. After three years the team is behind two of the oldest and well-established schools in the league; Leland High School and Bellarmine College Preparatory. MSJ set a school record for the number of finalists at the CAHSSA State Qualifier tournament with 19 entries, out of which eight qualified to the CAHSSA State Tournament from April 19-21 at West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita, CA. State Qualifiers from MSJ included Sophomore Claudia Shao, and Seniors Emily Chen, Frank Chen, Dillon Cho, Ryan Pascua, Joshua Shao, Silvia Zannettiand Alvin Zhou.
The team also had a record-breaking nine finalists at the National Forensics League (NFL) National Tournament Qualifier tournament on March 24. Six qualified for the NFL National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama on June 16-20. National Qualifiers from MSJ included Sophomore Claire Dobyns, Junior Supriya Yelimeli, and Seniors Frank Chen, Dillon Cho, Rahil Hudda, and Silvia Zannetti.
Amongst hard-work, dedication, and practice, the influx of freshmen members and the numerous four-year Senior speech veterans have also contributed greatly to the team’s success. The team has seen a steep increase in freshman members, which has been greatly beneficial in sweepstakes awards; or awards based on total team points. The team took third overall in the State Qualifiers Sweepstakes, and fourth overall in the National Qualifier Sweepstakes.
“We’ve continued to grow exponentially and our team is filled with so much talent,” said Senior Dillon Cho, MSJ Speech Vice President.“The depth on this team is amazing and every single member works hard and strives to improve not only themselves but also their fellow teammates. Just watching the team thrive and reach heights that people never expected us to reach was such a blessing and a source of pride for me. We only have room to grow and for this team, the sky’s the limit.”