The students of Downers Grove South High School's speech team are back-to-back state champions.
DGS took first place at the state speech tournament in Peoria this weekend. It was the last state finals for long-time Head Coach Jan Heiteen, who retires in the spring. Downers Grove North tied for second with Oak Lawn High School.
The Downers Grove South Speech Team has been called the winningest in the state -- in the past five state finals, DGS took first place four times.
Student performances in individual events and performance in the round, in which students perform a 15-minute play, generate points that determine the team winner. DGS earned 42 points in the state finals, double the 20 points DGN and Oak Lawn each earned to tie for second.
Downers Grove South had five individual state champions and one double state champion in individual events: Billy Chengary and Erin C. Walsh for dramatic duet acting, Dan Leahy and Erin M. Walsh for Humorous Duet Acting, Dhara Puvar for Informative Speaking, Erin C. Walsh for Oratorical Declamation and Colleen Derosa for Prose Reading.
Individual events range from impromptu and informative speaking to dramatic duet acting and poetry reading.
Downers Grove North had its best finish in recent record, with DGN students making it to the final rounds of seven of the 14 events. Full results for both schools are below:
Dramatic Duet Acting
DGS: Billy Chengary and Erin C. Walsh, first place
DGN: Emily Temple-Wood, second place
Humerous Duet Acting
DGS: Dan Leahy and Erin M. Walsh, first place
DGN: Andy Krupin and Murtaza Kapasi, fifth place
DGS: Michelle McCarthy, second place
DGN: Alex Buckley, third place
DGS: Dhara Puvar, first place
DGS: Erin C. Walsh, first place
DGS: Michelle McCarthy, third place
DGN: Sarah Batchu, fifth place
Performance in the Round
DGS: fifth place
DGS: Colleen Derosa, first place
DGN: Devin Collett, finalist
DGN: Andy Krupin, second place
DGS: Lillie Kase, fifth place
Special Occasion Speaking
DGN: Heather Johansen, sixth place