Forensics takes on NIETOC

The Wildcats took home multiple awards from The National Individual Events Tournament of Champions


Photo via MWHS Forensics

Tenley Wright, Staff Writer

The National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC) brought together the nation’s best and brightest students and teachers in Oral Interpretation and Public Address to participate in a Tournament of Champions.

For teachers and coaches, NIETOC provided helpful workshops, networking opportunities with programs nationwide, and the opportunity to judge some of the best performances in the nation. For students, NIETOC provided an educational workshop focused on improving speaking skills, excellent competition and a chance to meet speech competitors from all over the nation.

This weekend, eight Millard West Forensics Team members competed at NIETOC. Four of them placed. Senior Joanna Bai placed 25th out of 205 in Dramatic Interpretation and 53rd out of 182 in Original Oratory. Senior Kaylee Hallgren and junior Hunter Amos were ranked 41st out of 106 in Duet Acting. Kaylee Hallgren also placed 30th out of 154 in Humorous Interpretation. Senior Aaryan Naik was double entered and placed 22nd out of 136 in Informative Speaking.

Also competing were Juniors Parker Speck, Sanjulaa Chanolian, Lauren Rezac and sophomore Emma Cavalier.

NIETOC began 10 years ago to showcase the individual events competitors from across the country. Millard West has participated all 10 years has had students place at every one.

On Friday, there was an opening ceremony and informative break out sessions that the students attended. The break out sessions dealt with how to use emotion in Informative speaking, how to select a Duo Interp script and how to practice, and a panel of former high school competitors who now compete in college.

“It’s important to have a Speech and Debate program at any school because of the skills it gives students,” Forensics coach Jennifer Jerome said. “Not only does Speech and Debate create the ability to communicate, but it teaches critical thinking skills. It teaches students how to overcome the obstacle of failing…the doors that are opened because of Speech and Debate membership are infinite.”

Despite the fact that Millard West is one of the smallest Class A teams in the state, they continue to dominate in competitions. They haven’t placed below fifth place at any event this season.

“We started off strong for the NIETOC and I have a good feeling about the rest of the national tournaments as well,” Jerome said.

Wildcat Forensics looks to continue with their success as Naik, Speck and sophomore Robert Russell are head to Milwaukee for the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament over Memorial Day weekend. Bai and Naik will be competing at the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Dallas, Texas, June 13-22.