The ACT won their third state championship in a row this week, winning awards for their on-stage performance as well as their academic performance.
The team placed first by a margin of 40 points, with 26 of their 47 events advancing to finals. The team was also recognized with an Academic Achievement award for their collective GPA of 3.84, the second-highest in the tournament.
“This is our fourth year to be in the top two and our third to be second,” ACT coach Brian Gunter said. “The larger the team, of course, the harder that is.”
Over spring break, the team won their third West Oklahoma Regional Championship and sent 47 events to state, more than they have in recent memory.
Victory was bittersweet for one student, who would have placed first but unknowingly went over their time limit, putting them in the 3rd place slot.
“When the kids found out, they were heartbroken,” Gunter said. “I drill that into them throughout the school year, because various events have different time restraints.”
Students who are advancing to National Individual Events Tournament of Champions on May 10 in Denver will have a small break from rehearsals this week. Then it’s non-stop rehearsing until the weekend of the competition.
“Sometimes it’s feels like a never-ending cycle,” Gunter said.
Following nationals, the team will hold a dessert showcase, Amuse-Bouche, May 17 at the Goddard Center. From there, they will spend the rest of the year preparing for the National Speech and Debate Association National tournament on June 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.