Tri-County Forensic League: Individual Event State Qualifier

(March 6-7, 2015)

Hilda Velásquez-Galvez; Shawn Haq; Emily Mercer; Marlon Poroj; Garbiel Salazar

Hilda Velásquez-Galvez; Shawn Haq; Emily Mercer; Marlon Poroj; Garbiel Salazar

This two-day tournament ended quite well for El Camino Real Charter High with five students earning a total of seven State Qualifying spots in the California High School Speech Association 2015 State Tournament.

Hilda Velásquez-Galvez has been the most-dominant El Camino student in Dramatic Interpretation all year and she continued he winning ways here.

Shawn Haq ventured into two events for the first time, National Extemporaneous and International Extemporaneous, and came in 2nd and 4th respectively, and thus earning Tri-County Forensic League IE State Qualifier plaques for each venture. These, along with the Shawn’s state-qualifying work with Emily Mercer in Parliamentary Debate two weekends earlier, made Shawn a triple qualifier.

Emily Mercer also ended up being a triple-qualifier when she added to her success in Parliamentary Debate with finishes in the top tier in Original Advocacy and Duo Interpretation.The Duo piece came through her work with Marlon Poroj, who himself won an additional State Qualifier plaque the week before for his top-3 finish in Student Congress. Finally, one of the great newcomers of the year, Gabriel Salazar, showed his quick intellect and charm once again by coming in 3rd place in National Extemporaneous, right behind Shawn.

Although it is thrilling to see such a large increase in the number of State Qualifying bids this year compared to last, it is also important to point out the other great achievements by El Camino students in this competition. In Impromptu, 70 students from throughout the Tri-County area entered the competition, and in the Semi-Finals round, four El Camino speakers were still in play. In the end, Shawn Haq led the team with a 12th place finish, followed by one of his proteges Gabriel Salazar, who came in 13th. Veteran Hilda Velásquez-Galvez came in immediately behind them in 14th and Teddy Yerxa, the only El Camino student who broke to Semi-Finals in Impromptu in this competition last year, finished 19th out the field of 70.

El Camino also had a very solid showing in Original Interpretation (OI). Throughout the year, Hilda Velásquez-Galvez has been the team-leader in this area and she showed her skills when she broke to the Semi-Finals in OI, one of three events she broke to semis in. Although her rendition of a great Cesar Chavez speech from 1989 was quite moving, it wasn’t enough to break into the Finals round. Newcomer Gabriel Salazar triple broke to semis as well with his performance in OI, edging just ahead of Hilda in the end with a 11th place finish.


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