After a fateful weekend to close out the 2016-2017 UIL Speech season, 12 new state champions were crowned in the 6 divisions of Informative and Persuasive Extemp. For our overview of the State tournament, we will take a look at the final rounds of 4A, 5A, and 6A extemp, while also congratulating the champions of 1A, 2A, and 3A.
Informative Speaking — Champion: Rene Otero
After cruising to victory in his preliminary round, the same round that knocked out previous 5A UIL Informative champion Alcess Nonot (Vista Ridge), Rene Otero (Hendrickson) picket-fenced the finals panel of Informative Extemp with a topic on Haiti. Just a Sophomore, Otero will more than likely be the favorite headed into Informative Extemp in the 2018 season. Fellow sophomore Sahaj Singh (Southlake Carroll) took 2nd. Both Otero and Singh were semifinalists at the TFA State tournament in Foreign Extemp. Danny Lehmann (Cy-Creek) rounded out the top 3, finishing his successful extemp career by medaling. While Vista Ridge may have seen its old state champion knocked out in prelims, Austin Djafar-Zade (Vista Ridge) made an underdog appearance in finals after being the regional alternate–placing 4th overall. The 6A Informative finals room also included Joshua Misrack (Clements) and Layla Hooshmand (Katy Taylor), who placed 5th and 6th, respectively.
Persuasive Speaking — Champion: Juliet Ume-Ezeoke
Entering UIL State after placing 5th nationally at the prestigious Extemp TOC, Juliet Ume-Ezeoke (Pflugerville) had another successful weekend–bringing home a Persuasive state championship. UKTOC finalist Elizabeth Khalilian (Plano West) rode a district and regional victory to 2nd place overall, and was joined by teammate Uzair Alpial (Plano West) in the top 3. TFA State 4th-place finisher Ping Rui Toong (Tompkins) achieved the same rank in 6A Persuasive, while two Austin debaters, Carlos Gregory (Hendrickson) and Mackenzie Matheson (Lake Travis) rounded out the finals room.
Informative Speaking — Champion: Evan Bewersdorf
After finaling at TFA State, Evan Bewersdorf (Lindale) cruised to three state championships in UIL’s 5A division–one of them being Informative Extemp. Ethan Eyre (Magnolia) and Gary Frankel (Centennial), previous UIL State finalist, rounded out the top three. Aabid Razvi (A&M Consolidated), Jaycob Garcia (Victoria West), and Shaler Keenum (Lubbock Cooper) placed 4th, 5th, and 6th–representing a broad array of regional extempers.
Persuasive Speaking — Champion: Kalista Schauer
Gulf Coast points race leader and regional champion Kalista Schauer finished the 2017 UIL season as state champion in 5A Persuasive. Elizabeth Palazzolo (A&M Consolidated) finished second, while two Prosper High School students–Mark Werner (Prosper) and Zach Elmer (Prosper) finished 3rd and 5th, respectively. Between the two was Ronak Desai (Lindale), and finishing in 6th was Noah Gipson (Boerne Champion).
Informative Speaking — Champion: Michael J. Roets, Jr.
Princeton High School’s own Michael J. Roets, Jr. (Princeton) brought home the state championship of 4A Informative Speaking. Zach Huffman (Paris North Lamar) and Seth Hamby (Big Spring) rounded out the top three. Kay Edwards (Paris North Lamar) took 4th in the room, while Cap City invitee Danielle Maldonado (La Vernia) took 5th. Alanna Hurt (Snyder) rounded out the finals room.
Persuasive Speaking — Champion: Michael Pulver
4A Persuasive was taken home by another northern Texas extemper–this time Michael Pulver (Athens). Two more La Vernia extempers made appearances in the 4A Persuasive finals–James Kosub (La Vernia), who placed 2nd, and Sean Elsik (La Vernia) who placed 4th. 4A Persuasive finals also saw two more Paris North Lamar students–Steele Musgrove (Paris North Lamar) and Colin Hodgkiss (Paris North Lamar), who placed 3rd and 5th, respectively. Rounding out the top 6 was Erin English (Denver City).
Informative Champion: Michaela Yandell (Holliday)
Persuasive Champion: Nolan Richardson (Holliday)
Informative Champion: Zach Hundt (Lindsay)
Persuasive Champion: Josiah Atkinson (West Hardin)
Informative Champion: Tessa Schreiber (Fort Davis)
Persuasive Champion: Trent Collins (Borden)
Congratulations to all UIL State competitors!