Speech students qualify for national competition



Juniors Nicollette Arabie, Emma Cocking and Billy Duncan will compete at NSDA nationals this summer in Phoenix.

Alani Jones, Editorial Team

Students spent three days competing at the Yellow Rose district’s NSDA qualifier last week for a chance to compete at the national tournament in Phoenix this summer. The district meet was held at West Hardin High School, with the team staying in Beaumont and driving over each morning.

“This tournament is a marathon, with early-morning starts and really late nights,” coach Melonie Menefee said. “We were all exhausted by Friday, but so excited to have some qualifiers for the national meet, especially since most of the team was at their first qualifier ever.”

Junior Nicollette Arabie qualified in three events and will compete at nationals in Congress. Last summer she made it to semi-finals in the event at nationals in Kentucky.

“I’m really excited to be going to nats for my third year,” Arabie said. “It’s nice to see the hard work I’ve put in throughout the year come through and take me places.”

Juniors Emma Cocking and Billy Duncan competed in duo and placed third, making them national alternates. The two are qualified to compete at nationals in supplemental events.

“This was Billy’s first year to compete, and the first time for he and Emma to work together,” Menefee said. “I am impressed with how well they did, as I am with the other students who were competing for the first time for NSDA.”

Also competing were freshmen Kaylen Sanchez and Brock Corbitt, sophomore Tristan Cole and junior Mason Ayles. All four are new to the program this year.”

“I’m excited for nationals this summer and am even more excited for the future of this team,” Menefee said. “We have a lot of new talent, and they are putting in the work. I have no doubt there will be more success coming for the team.”