June 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM
MONTVILLE, NJ - For the first time ever, the Montville Township High School Speech & Debate Team [MTHS] [Forensics] had a National Championship Winner at the National Catholic Forensic League [NCFL] Grand National Tournament in Chicago, IL.
Held over Memorial Day weekend, the NCFL event hosted over 500 schools from around the country, and almost 250 competitors per division. Throughout the year, MTHS competed with other New Jersey public schools under the Newark Diocese for a spot at NCFL.
Monica Coscia, an MTHS senior, took the championship title in Extemporaneous speaking, the largest event of NCFL, against 246 competitors.
Coscia’s victory is the first NCFL championship for MTHS, and the first for New Jersey in more than a decade. Her victory also means that women have won two of the last three NCFL championships.
The MTHS Mustangs Forensic Team also saw two other members advance to Finalists. They were Danielle Zhang, a senior, who won the National Runner Up in Original Oratory, and, sophomore, Alexandros Pandazis, with 6th place in the Declamation category.
Mustangs who made Semifinalist status were seniors, Rob DelMauro, in Student Congress, and Josh Feldman, who took 9th place Oral Interpretation of Prose and Poetry.
Those who placed in the Top 24 Quarterfinals included Mustang sophomore, Stacy Wang in Declamation, and senior Cristine Oh in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Under the leadership of Mary Gormley, who has coached the team for 26 years, the MTHS Forensics Team also earned First Place Speech Champions and NCFL's Top 5 schools Overall Champions. The team was presented with the NCFL Daniel S. Masterson, Jr. Award for Excellence in Forensics.