With a couple of Oak Lawn residents helping to pace the Moraine Valley Community College Speech Team, it earned second place in the two-year division at the Frankly Speaking Tournament hosted by the College of DuPage Jan. 18 and 19. Moraine Valley also placed fourth in the four-year college or university division.
Oak Lawn residents David Ward and Julian Comacho were integral figures on the award winning team.
Team members practiced during winter break for the competition, which hosted 18 two- and four-year schools from across the country, and the preparation paid off. “Because of our students’ hard work, every member of the team advanced into at least one final round of competition,” said John Nash, head coach and Communications professor.
Moises Bello, of Chicago, earned fifth place in the Informative Speaking-Novice category and second place in Persuasive Speaking-Novice. Crystal Gutierrez, of Chicago, earned sixth place in Informative Speaking-Novice. David Ward, of Oak Lawn, won sixth place in the Speech to Entertain-Varsity category and third place in Duo Interpretation-Varsity.
Co-team Captain Ethan Gallant, of Chicago Ridge, won first place in Speech to Entertain-Novice and third place in Persuasive Speaking Novice. Andrew Kuntz, of Alsip, earned second place in Speech to Entertain-Novice. Jennifer Gutierrez, of Bridgeview, won first place in Communication Analysis-Novice, fourth in Program of Interpretation-Varsity and third place in Prose Interpretation-Novice.
Abby Hanrahan, of Palos Heights, won first place in Extemporaneous Speaking and second place in Communication Analysis-Novice. Co-team Captain Natalie Jurcik, of Bridgeview, placed first in Persuasive Speaking-Varsity and second in Prose Interpretation-Varsity. Julian Comacho, of Oak Lawn, earned first place in Persuasive Speaking-Novice and third place in Duo Interpretation-Varsity. Peter Granato, of Orland Park, earned first place in International Public Debate-Novice.
“I love it when our students can go toe-to-toe with four-year universities,” Nash said. “It really shows our students they can achieve anything they put their minds to.” He said several former Speech Team members came back to assist students with this tournament. “I love that we are teaching our team members the importance of the activity and of giving back.”
The team also is coached by Amanda Pettigrew, associate professor of Communications; Krista Appelquist, Communications professor, and Jeff Rieck, an avid supporter who regularly volunteers with the team.
Moraine Valley Speech Team members earned 18 awards at the Frankly Speaking Speech tournament. Among them are (from left) Julian Camacho, Crystal Gutierrez, Abby Hanrahan, David Ward, Breanne Frausto, of Tinley Park, Andrew Kuntz, Jennifer Gutierrez, Ethan Gallant and Natalie Jurcik.