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Xu, Weber Win Westwood Tourney

by Jacob Castillo

Principles of Journalism Contributor

Joining a school elective is fun, especially if it’s something you love to do. For Speech and Debate team members, sophomore Emilie Weber and senior Danielle Xu, their elective won them top honors at the Westwood UIL meet on February 24.

The pair both took first place in their respective competitions of Prose and Poetry Interpretation, an event where they select literature to read dramatically.

“When I won the meet, I was surprised and immediately thankful for the people who helped me develop my characters and elevate my pieces,” Weber said. “This is the first year I’ve competed in prose and it’s been the most amazing and fun experience.”

Danielle shares Emilie’s love for the art of interpretation and enjoys the opportunity to speak out on issues that matter to her.

“Poetry interpretation became a thing that allowed me to speak on social topics and issues,” Xu said. “It gave me a voice even if it was just through a tiny binder. Taking first at Westwood made me feel relieved because it was a sign that I was actually pretty good. ”

Interp, as it’s called by the team, has been one of the strongest competitions for the speech and debate group this year. Despite that, being in the room for finals, competing is still a nerve wracking experience.

“When I was in the room for finals it was really intimidating at first,” Weber said. “But as soon as I got up to perform my piece my I got an overwhelming sense of confidence. The moment I get in the zone everything else stops mattering.”

With only one meet left before district, the girls have high hopes of succeeding and advancing to regionals.

“District is huge deal,” Weber said. “To make it out of district would be a dream come true.”

Competition at district will be fierce with Dripping Springs and Lockhart in the mix.

“We should be cautious of Lockhart at district,” Xu said. “They’ve beat us before, but we’ve been practicing a lot so we shouldn’t too worried.”

The team will travel to Hays High School on March 10 for their last practice meet before district. After that, the practicing will be done, and they will be hoping for Regionals and maybe even State.

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