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posted Aug 18, 2016, 12:54 PM by Barry Holloway   [ updated Aug 18, 2016, 1:40 PM ]
Article by Barry Holloway and Kate Sabol
Photo by Emily Fassbender

Sussex, WI--Hamilton's forensics team had a historic day on Saturday, by hosting and then winning their first GMC Championship in school history. The win broke Brookfield East's 13-year stranglehold on the conference title. It is the school's first conference championship in forensics in over 20 years (Parkland Conference, 1995). 

The team reacted very positively to the meet being set at home. Students enjoyed that the typical anxiety of not being able to find a room was no longer an issue, as well as they enjoyed being able to house belongings in Coach Holloway’s room instead of in the cafeteria.

Sophomore, Sara Hubbell remarked, “It didn’t feel that different tournament wise, but it felt a lot easier and more comfortable because it was at Hamilton.”

It was also a homecoming for Allie Bitz who was formerly the leader of the Charger’s extemp team. She was happy to interrupt her studies at Marquette, where she is double majoring in Econ and philosophy, to help run the tournament’s draw room.  “As a former extemporaneous speaker, it can be a little hectic sometimes so it was kind of nerve wracking being on the other end of it. But I hope I did a good job. It’s fun to come back and help any way I can,” she said. “[Forensics] helped my ability to impromptu speak.” Overall, coaches and students alike felt very positive about hosting conference, and they are hopeful to host another meet in the future.

An astonishing 15 out of Hamilton’s 25 entries placed at this tournament: Megan Ehlert and Sara Hubbell (co-1st , Demonstration Speaking), Emily Bader (1st, Special Occasion), Ciara Cronin (1st, Storytelling), Amy Yadev (1st, Four Minute), Hang Yin (1st, Oratory), Dani Kallis (2nd Special Occasion), Tessa Jaskolski (3rd, Moments in History), Matt Gnanadass (3rd, Extemporaneous Speaking), Rachel Seraphine & Emily Smith (3rd, Duo Interpretation), Sam Moore (3rd, Prose), Jordan Koeller (3rd, Four Minute), Kylie Earing (3rd, Oral Interpretation), James Lang (3rd, Oratory), Kavya Ayalasomayajula & Emily Keith (3rd, Play Acting).

Junior Ciara Cronin spoke about the successes of the weekend saying, “I’m just really, really proud of our team. Where we were when I started to where we are now, it’s been an insane jump. I’m so proud to be a part of this program. Even if I didn’t place, I would still be so proud of everyone and this program.” This positive attitude is shared by all team members; Hamilton forensics looks forward to competing at the WFCA state tournament in a couple weeks at the University of Whitewater.

Click here for Ciara Cronin's post-meet interview

Click here for Coach Holloway's post-meet interview

--Hamilton defeated the 2015 D-1 State Runner-up, Brookfield East, and the 2015 D-2 State Champions, Wauwatosa East.

--The Charger's 234 points was the most that they've scored in the Greater Metro Conference tournament.

--The team has six individual conference champions, which is tied for the most at the meet and is the most in modern team history.

--The school's 234-point score is roughly a 100-point jump over their previous two conference scores (133 in 2014 and 137 in 2015). 

--The Chargers improved their 2015 GMC quality point score from 8.05 to 9.36 in 2016. 

--Kavya Ayalasomayajula and Sam Moore have now placed at the GMC tournament in three straight years in three different categories. 

--Dani Kallis has now finished as Conference Champ or Conference Runner-up in the last three tournaments.

--Ciara Cronin's win is her first at any tournament.

--Amy Yadev, Meghan Ehlert, and Sara Hubbell won a championship in their first conference meet. 

--Hamilton was projected to finish 3rd at the event.