Speech Team Surpasses its Own Goals

Story by Nicholson News


UCF’s Speech Team has seen a great deal of growth since it started just four years ago, said Jonathan Conway, instructor of human communication in the UCF Nicholson School of Communication and director of the Speech Team.

At the beginning of the year, Conway and his team set clear goals: secure a finalist in the Alabama Swing, a tournament team win, ten individual champions and a little national recognition.

First up was the Alabama Swing, which is actually two consecutive tournaments and by far the team’s most difficult regular season competition. Last year, some of the students got close to finals, but this year Hunter Menning clinched a sixth place finish in communication analysis.

In early February, the team participated in the Iowa Swing, where they gained national exposure and scored the team win they were striving for. Not only did they win the small team sweepstakes on the first day, but they won by a significant margin. The speech team returned home to Florida to host the Knight-Nole Swing where they won the overall team sweepstakes by a large margin.

Prior to 2014, the speech team had no tournament champions. They ended that year with six and set their sights on winning 10 in 2015-16. By the time the team arrived at the state championship tournament, it was on its way to its 14th win with Amanda Grimsey’s poetry championship win.

The 2015-16 year left the team in a good place as they accomplished all they set out to achieve and more.

“At the National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament Miarim Perez made the National Quarter Finals (top 24) in After Dinner Speaking, UCF’s first national quarter final. The team then finished 35th overall in the nation and 10th in President’s Division 2,” said Conway. “I’d say, overall it was a great season.”

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