CNMI speech team earns top finishes

Team CNMI returned with several honors including two Top 5 finishes in last month’s National Junior Speech and Debate Association finals at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center in Florida.

Jonathan Wolf and Elaine Fernandez led the junior team after reaching the finals of their respective categories.

Wolf, who made history by becoming the first middle school student from the Pacific Islands District to win in the finals two years ago, reached the finals to earn a Top 5 finish in Humorous Interpretation.

Fernandez reached the finals and secured another Top 5 finish for the CNMI in Story Telling, while Vladimir Palma made it to the semifinals for a Top 8 finish in the nation.

Wolf, who was also in Poetry Reading’s Top 24, then teamed up with his brother Lars to make it to the Top 24 in Duo Interpretation, while Palma made it to the Top 30 in Prose Reading.

Kate Ishida made it to the semifinals in Poetry Reading and finished 12th out of the 420 competitors, while Elizabeth Rose Jones reached the quarterfinals and 15th place out of the 285 other participants in Expository Speech while also ending up in the Top 60 percent in Prose Reading.

Shea Hartig, who had an excellent run in the Lincoln Douglas Debate, each finished in the Top 17 percent and 38 percent in Impromptu Speech and Poetry Reading, while Nina Valdisimo barged into the Top 60 percent in Poetry Reading and Top 40 in Story Telling.

Elijah Joshua Pajarillaga (Top 40 Impromptu Speech), Su Min Woo (Top 36 Prose Reading), Esther Park (Top 60 Prose Reading), Jell Melchor (Top 60 Poetry Reading), and Jeremiah Fernandez (Top 40 Story Telling) were the other senior team members that earned decent finishes.

Patreisha Concillado, Dane Hodges, Cevina Huang, Juliet Innocencio, Vivien Liu, Jill Mallari, Edgardo Palma, Christian Pamintuan, and Oceana and Issa Teigita were the other members of the junior team.

Nehemiah Fernandez, Jeff Melchor, Emma Timmons, Lanz Jabez Victoria, Kevin Wolf, and Joseph Zhang were the other senior team members.

Criselda Aldan, Cary Bertoncini, Lorelisa Espiritu, Maria Mettao, Victoria Nishida, Kristine Wolf, Frank Borja, Grace Duran, Joyl Jones, and Dencio Manglona served as the coaches of both teams.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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