(January 10-11, 2015)
This annual tournament out in the Gabriel Valley, exposes the team to a collection of competitors they do not normally face in League tournaments, including a number of substantially successful programs. In the IE categories, the crew was once again led by a 1st Place finish by Marlon Poroj and Emily Mercer in Duo Interpretation. They came in first in all three of the preliminary rounds, and the Finals round as well (a “picket fence”)! Their ability to cleverly edit down a 2-hour and 14-minute movie script (“I Am Sam”) to a 10-minute encapsulation, and then to execute six of the characters so convincingly (four for Emily; two for Marlon) is impressive and continues to win them top awards. One year ago they competed in this same tournament with another piece that was a bit less dynamic, and earned a 5th Place trophy. It’s nice to see the development of this storyline in this fashion! Marlon also did quite well with his Dramatic Interpretation piece this weekend, earning a Finalist trophy in the process. In Impromptu Speaking, 72 students competed and when the three preliminary rounds were over, Emily was amongst the top 18 who made it to the Semi-Finals round. There, the three-judge panel gave her rankings of 1-3-5. If the last judge had been somewhat on par with the other two, she could have made the cut to the Final round. Of the remaining El Camino competitors in Impromptu, Gabriel Salazar, Albert Tang, and Cassidy Block also advanced to Semis, but like Emily, they could not break to Finals. Hilda Velásquez-Galvez also did quite well in this competition. In Dramatic Interpretation, she has been doing well on a fairly steady basis this year. In this tournament, out of 60 tough competitors, she was able to make it to the Semi-Finals round where she was amongst the top 18 DI students. Unfortunately, she suffered a slight time violation as a result of her natural and heart-wrenching execution of the piece. This led to a one-rank point penalty being levied on her, and all but eliminated her from the Finals round. In Open Original Interpretation she took on 45 other students and held her own quite well once again with a break to the Semis and a top-11 finish.
In Open Student Congress, El Camino was well-represented once again. Sixty-seven students competed in this year’s competition and when the dust settled, four El Camino senators, Marlon Poroj, Madinah Najib, Cassidy Block, and Shawn Haq were in the Finals round representing the school. Three of the four earned Finalist medals for their talents and intellectual discourse, but it was Marlon Poroj who was the star speaker, earning the 1st Place position and the requisite gavel! In the Novice Student Congress competition there were a total of 64 students who entered the maelstrom. However, only 15 students advanced to the Finals round. Among these elite 15 were El Camino Freshmen Sara Kiamanesh and Jasmine Moheb, with Sarah earning the 5th Place finish overall.