Thirteen members of the Paducah Tilghman High School speech and debate team competed in the KHSSL State Senior Championships on March 10-11. Seven of the team's entries advanced to the second day of competition and earned recognition.
Senior Michael-Ellen Walden advanced to the final round in two separate events, Broadcast Announcing and Storytelling. She finished in fifth place in the state in Broadcast Announcing and fourth in Storytelling. She also placed in the Top 40 in the state in Dramatic Interpretation.
Senior Landon Rutherford advanced to the quarterfinal round in Broadcast Announcing, earning a first place distinction in one of his preliminary rounds and 23rd place out of 72 entrants. Rutherford also achieved a Top 40 finish in Informative Speaking.
Senior Nina Brown and freshman Kate Criner both advanced to the quarterfinal round in Dramatic Interpretation, each earning a first place distinction in a preliminary round. Brown placed 24th and Criner earned 17th in a field of 52.
Sophomore Addie Rogers advanced to the quarterfinal round in Impromptu Speaking, earning a second place designation in a preliminary round. She finished 18th in a field of 64. Rogers also achieved Top 40 finishes in Extemporaneous Speaking and Informative Speaking.
The Improvisational Duo of junior Ella Bailey and senior Nina Brown advanced to the semifinal round, earning second place in three of their four preliminary rounds. The pair finished 12th in a field of nearly 70 entries. Bailey also performed in the Humorous Interpretation category and achieved a Top 40 finish.
Though not advancing to elimination rounds, freshman Travis Trimble competed in broadcasting and earned 32nd place overall out of 72 total entrants.
Sophomore Grace Raber did not advance to elimination rounds, but earned a Top 40 finish in a field of 75 students in Prose Interpretation, as well as competing and earning points in Poetry.
Other non-advancing students who earned points for the team include freshmen Sammy Lambert (Declamation, Duo Interpretation, Improv Duo) and Erin Stafford (Declamation, Improv Duo, Poetry), sophomore James Smiley (Oratory, Prose), and juniors Anna Shelton (Poetry, Storytelling) and Emery Wainscott (Oratory, Program of Oral Interpretation).
Stafford and Trimble earned membership to the National Speech and Debate Association and Degrees of Merit. Sophomore Addie Rogers and junior Ella Bailey advanced to Degrees of Distinction from the NSDA.
The team was named one of the Top 20 high school teams in the state.