CHICAGO HEIGHTS | A Prairie State College freshman from Riverdale placed second in Informative Speaking in the recent national speech and debate championships in Denver.
The Prairie State College speech team placed seventh overall out of 35 schools in the small school division at the recent 86th annual Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Championships.
The PSC team placed in the top 20 percent of the nation and freshmen DaQuawn Bruce, of Riverdale, made it to the national final round of Informative Speaking, finishing with a silver medal, placing him within the top 10 percent of all speakers in that category.
A total of 425 students from 58 schools from 11 states were represented at the tournament.
Prairie State was represented by sophomore Jasmine Ross, of Richton Park, along with freshmen Destin Patton-Warner, of Riverdale; Allysha Nobles, of Park Forest, Sanni Mohammed-Haruna, of Homewood, and Bruce.
Team President Ross made it to the national semi-final round of Informative Speaking, making her one of the top 20 percent of speakers in that category. Patton-Warner made it to national semi-finals in both Speech to Entertain and Dramatic Interpretation. Nobles made it to national semi-finals in Dramatic Interpretation.
This year's team was the youngest squad Prairie State has ever taken to the national tournament, but they finished as one of the best teams in the program's history.
The Prairie State College speech team won the team gold medal and several individual awards during the Phi Rho Pi Region IV Speech Competition hosted at PSC earlier this month. A total of 12 colleges competed in that tournament.
Patton-Warner was named gold medalist for speech to entertain and dramatic interpretation, and silver medalist for prose interpretation. He also received the Cheri Corey Award for Individual Sweepstakes, making him the regional champion as top overall speaker.
Bruce was named silver medalist for persuasive speaking and poetry interpretation, and bronze medalist for informative speaking. He also received the Don Hagerty Award for Student Fellowship.
Mohammed-Haruna was named gold medalist for impromptu speaking, silver medalist for program oral interpretation, and bronze medalist for speech to entertain.
Nobles was named bronze medalist for dramatic interpretation.
Also competing was Ross. The team was coached by PSC professors David Naze, Elighie Wilson, and Ed Schwarz.
“We are all extremely proud of these exceptional students,” said PSC President Terri Winfree. “We also applaud the talented faculty who coach these students for doing such a phenomenal job year after year.”