Chadron High Competitors Fail To Advance At State Speech Contest


     The Nebraska High School Speech Championships were held Wednesday in Kearney, but Chadron High’s two competitors failed to place in Class B.

      Naomie Elliott and Natalie Carattini, both seniors, had qualified at the recent B-6 District meet in Gothenburg with Carattini the champion in Oral Interpretation of Poetry and Elliott 3rd in Oral Interpretation of Humorous Prose.

      At state, neither managed to advance to the 6-person finals. Elliott was 2nd, 4th, and 3rd in her preliminaries in Humorous Prose to tie for 8th in points, but finished 9th on tie-breaking criteria.

     Carattini went 4th, 5th, and 2nd in the Poetry preliminaries to finish 11th. There were 18 competitors in both events at state.

     Gering won the Class B team title behind double champion Maddie Seiler, who won both the Persuasive and Informative categories. Gering also had a pair of 2nds and 4ths, a 3rd, a 5th, and a trio of 6th. 

35 thoughts on “Chadron High Competitors Fail To Advance At State Speech Contest”

  1. Congratulations Natalie and Naomi!! You gave it your best and we are very proud that you were State Speech Qualifiers. Thank you also to Coaches Gifford and Goosey for your leadership and guidance this season. It was a positive end to a fantastic season for these Chadron High Seniors!

  2. Congrats you two, qualifying at districts is huge and making it that far is beyond amazing. NEVER give up on the skills you have learned and take them with you to the next step of your academic careers. Very proud of you and the program at CHS.

  3. I am a bit concerned in the negative way this whole thing is worded. Why?? Naomie finished 9th in the state in her class. She received 48/50 or better from all judges. The focus is what they did not do, instead of what they did. The word FAIL in no way belongs in this article. Congratulations girls on doing what few can do and doing it well. We love you and are so proud of you, even if you barely missed making finals in the hardest district in the state. There is no FAIL in that!!!!!!!

  4. Chadron Radio,, Mr. Axtell, and others associated with the news writing and reporting of the Chadron high school events.

    I am extremely disappointed in the article regarding the two ladies who WON the opportunity to attend the State Speech this past week. Their dedication to their school studies, and extracurricular activity was considerably overlooked. Each of them PLACED in the top 10!!!! Extraordinary!!!

    I am even more concerned about the terms used not only in the title of the article, but also the terms used within it. I want to know in exactly what manner did these two ladies FAIL????? They showed dedication, sportsmanship, and determination to rise to this level of competition, yet you are saying that they are failures.

    How do you believe these words affected these ladies? Did you improve their emotional and mental wellbeing? Did you enhance the sport they work so hard to compete in? Did you encourage younger students to enlist in this activity? You know the answer to these questions. NO, NO, and NO. Disgraceful.

    My question is this: where is the article that stated the football team failed to make it to playoffs in 2022? Where is the article that stated the 2022 volleyball team failed to make it districts? Why are those losses blatantly ignored, and this amazing accomplishment is carried out as a failure? Why do you promote outright discrimination against non-athletic activities?

    I have never met either of the two ladies that successfully attended and placed at the State Speech. This is not a personal issue. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR FAILURE. Yes YOU. You failed these ladies. You failed to recognize the hard work and hours or practice that they accomplished to reach this level of competition. You failed accolades for their commitment to their sport. Most of all, you failed your community by printing such distasteful, negative, and demoralizing words about the future of Chadron itself. I am ashamed of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    One more thing, the apology that these ladies so richly and so very much deserve, in my ears, would be utterly distasteful, as this only proves that you are the failures and are trying to correct an intentional action that should have never been made in the first place

  5. Why does John Axtell even get a chance to report anymore.

    His articles are always full of errors and incorrect information. And then to disgrace two beautiful young ladies on such a fabulous job and all their great accomplishments, he should never be allowed to write another story about high school kids, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I’m very disappointed in the way this was written. Speech and debate is highly competitive and both CHS students performed expertly and highly. How about you try to do what they do, and then you can write about them “failing” to place in state. Does it make you feel better and little less insecure about yourself to write about young women like this? Just because you obviously can’t write well doesn’t mean you should discredit people who can. Please edit/rewrite this article!

  7. Here’s a better way to cover what these ladies did to represent CHS:

    New Title: Chadron High Seniors Naomie Elliott and Natalie Carattini Compete at State Speech Championships in Kearney

    “After qualifying at the B-6 District Speech meet in Gothenburg, Chadron High School seniors Naomie Elliott and Natalie Carattini got the chance to compete in the Nebraska High School State Speech Championships, held in Kearney on Wednesday.

    Elliott placed 2nd, 4th and 3rd in the Humorous Prose preliminaries to tie for 8th with _____ points.

    Carattini placed 11th in the Poetry preliminaries after garnering 4th, 5th and 2nd place finishes. (how many points did she get?)

    Each event showcased 18 competitors in preliminary rounds. The top six placers in the preliminaries advanced to the finals.

    In order to compete at the state competition, students had to place in the top ____ of their respective events. Carattini was the district champion in Oral Interpretation of Poetry and Elliott placed 3rd in Oral Interpretation of Humorous Prose.

    Gering won the Class B team title behind double champion Maddie Seiler, who won both the Persuasive and Informative categories.”

    There, fixed it.

    Yeah, objectively they didn’t make finals at state. Why is that in your title and intro paragraph? Negatives are sometimes okay to mention in a recap-based release but NEVER in a championship setting. It doesn’t make logical sense to say they failed when all they’ve been doing to get to this point in the season was by winning.

    Anyone who read your article can see that you are uneducated and dispassionate on high school speech. This was clearly a chore for you and if you’re going to keep writing like this, don’t write at all.

    It’s sad to see the current direction of Chadrad. Your readers deserve better. You’ve no social media presence. Chadrad, do better.

  8. As a proud former CHS Speech Team member, I am highly disappointed in the language used in this article. I spent my entire high school career feeling as if the Speech program did not receive the recognition it deserved, and it is clear that this precedence has not changed. Natalie and Naomie’s accomplishments deserve to be celebrated and detailed with the same respect that athletes receive. Qualifying for state is an incredible accomplishment few are able to experience; show these women the respect they clearly deserve.

  9. Here, let me fix this for you: Chadron High School Sends two talented students to State Speech!

    Months of hard work and dedication culminated this week when Naomie Elliot and Natalie Carattini made Chadron proud as they represented CHS at the Class B State Speech competition in Kearney. Fresh off their amazing showing at Districts, where Carattini’s performance earned her the District Championship in Oral Interpretation of Poetry and Elliot’s performance cinched her a spot in the top 3 in Oral Interpretation of Humorous Prose, both CHS Seniors completed their high school careers at the highest level of a tough class of competition. …
    Etc. Etc.
    Unless you’ve been in speech or had a child in speech you have no idea the insane number of hours of work, early mornings, late nights, 4 am bus trips, and weekends given up it takes to get to state. I’m so impressed by these young women and hope they don’t let this ridiculous article bother them for a single minute. Those who know, KNOW- and we’re proud of these students!!

    • This…. exactly this, the HOURS the Speech Team puts in each season, the stress, the overcoming of fear and anxiety, the early morning bus trips, the research, the creating boards, the blocking, the picking and choosing of scripts or poems, hauling tables or stage props, the slapstick, the memorizing, the crying, the snacks, the critiquing, the growing as a person… all those things encompass (and more I’m sure!) are part of what goes into a Speech experience. Not some sloppy, heartless article. Thanks Amy, you made me tear up!

  10. This article is the epitome of disrespect. Both students qualified for state, with presentations that took them months to perfect. That is an impressive feat in itself. The author of this article has no right to speak poorly about the girls’ impeccable performances. Chadron high school is proud and honored to have both Natalie and Naomie as students and participants in extra curricular activities. Just because speech is not an athletic sport, does not mean that it is not mentally and physically taxing. Speech deserves the same respect that is given to any other activity, athletic or not.

    • Hello,
      I hope it brings you great joy in your life to bring down a 17 and 18 year-old who already feel like they are misrepresented. Thank you for taking time out of your day to tell us that we are “losers” (amazing word choice). Seeing how you are an educator, I really hope you do not speak to your children like this everyday. I’m so happy that those children have someone to look up to as an example of what you should not do. Thank you so much. Maybe if you took time to learn how those two teenagers (not even legal adults) did prior to the competition that held the most talented teenagers in the state, you would realize that we are not losers. Once again, so happy you took time out of your filled day to come and attack two teenagers who don’t even know you.
      Naomie Elliott- Humor actor who has received 46 medals over her years of competition.
      Natalie Carattini- Poetry actor who has received 21 medals over her years of competition.
      But you can just just call us the “losers”.
      Thank you.

    • LOL I hope you feel really cringey after posting that. There’s a digital footprint for a reason. Obviously you’re projecting how you see yourself. Please know that you, Lana, are in a fact a loser

    • Why are you so rude to these kids, Lana? Who hurt you? Maybe it’s time to go see a therapist instead of shouting kindergarten level insults in the comments.

  11. Thank you to everyone who left so much positive support in the comments! This article was really frustrating and disappointing to see, but these comments have really lightened that blow. Thanks everyone!!!

  12. There are only 2 rules for posting comments:
    1. No profanity
    2. Be respectful
    Bickering and name calling is the quickest way to get comments shut down. Your opinions are welcome, name calling is not.

    I would also remind you that this article was written by one person and is not endorsed by the entire staff, including myself. There is only one person responsible for the content of this article and it certainly does NOT represent the opinion of everyone at Chadrad Communications.

    • Then why not remove this article? or why not correct it? You claim this does not represent you or your staff and yet it’s still on your website. It sounds like a majority of community members, your listeners, don’t agree with this article. If you don’t want this to represent your company then fix it. In the mean time, we’ll all still be upset and comments like the ones above will continue. Do the right thing, either fix the article or delete it, and put forward a public apology. It would be nice to see some accountability on your part and not from CHS parents and community members. We all seem to be able to recognize that the article was poorly written and have th courage to call that out. Time for you to step up.

      • I am an employee, not an owner of this company. It is not my staff, I am a staff member. I moderate comments but do not, and am not allowed to decide what content gets posted. This is my final comment on the matter.

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