UIL Academics Kicks off the Year with First In-Person Meet

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Charlotte McConathy, Assistant Communications Officer in Training

UIL students competed in a practice competition Saturday, Nov. 6 at the high school. Many schools ranging from 1A to 5A competed in the meet and it included all academic events, including speech and debate.

“This competition was a really successful way to begin this UIL season,” UIL coordinator Rory McKenzie said. “I really enjoy watching these kids progressing at practices and showing what they know at competitions.”

Senior Abigail Alexandris, sophomore Alyssa Starkey, and junior Kylie Kleam all placed in spelling and the team got second place. Junior Kailee Huston and senior Autumn Schoolcraft both placed individually in ready writing. Senior Koby Kleam placed fifth in social studies and the team placed second. Junior Garrett Lee King placed first in Computer Apps and sophomore Kaylee Kelley placed fourth.

“For this being our first meet of the year, I feel like my teammates and I did really well,” senior Autumn Schoolcraft said. “With help from coaches and practicing as much as possible between now and district, I feel like we have a very good chance of doing really well.

Seniors Troy Dane and Zane Gano and junior Madeline Morton placed in Science and the team placed second. Sophomore Noah Sullivan and juniors Blake Reeves and Rex Day all placed individually in computer science to help the team receive first place. Senior Autumn Schoolcraft placed first in literary criticism and the team placed second. In journalism, sophomore Julia Montgomery and senior Vivian Lehmann placed in copy, sophomore Charlotte McConathy placed in news and feature, and seniors Jesika Miller and Marlee Sorrells placed in feature to help the team win second place. 

“Science is always super fun to complete because I love my coaches and all my friends on the team,” junior Madeline Morton said. “I’m hoping I do well this year individually, but I mainly want my team to do well as a whole.”

In speech and debate, freshman Gunner Johnson placed first in Novice Congressional Debate, junior foreign exchange student Antonia Callin placed first in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking, freshman Jaden Lively placed second in Novice Oral Interpretation, junior Kailee Huston placed fifth in poetry, and sophomore Aden Ramsey placed sixth in Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

“The meet was super fun,” sophomore Angelina Jansen said. “It’s a good change from last year, where we were virtual at every tournament. I’m really confident in my teams, the science and math teams, and am happy with our results.”

All UIL teams will travel to Whitehouse this Saturday to compete in another practice meet.

“Some of my favorite high school memories come from UIL practices and meets,” junior Kylie Hester said. “I have made so many friends throughout these past couple of years and I cannot wait to see how we end up doing this year.”