COC’s Speech team won its first gold medal in team history this week, thanks to first-year student Austin Kolodney, who beat out nearly 100 other student competitors for his performance in the field Dramatic Interpretation, at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Greenwich, Conn.
“Being on the Speech Team has defined my experience at COC,” Kolodney said in a released statement from COC Director of Forensics Michael Leach. “I can’t believe that I almost never found out about this awesome opportunity that the COC Speech team has given me.”
The award-winning piece was titled “Man on Wire,” a multi-character performance about the story of Philippe Petit, the only man to walk a tightrope across the now-destroyed World Trade Center “Twin Towers” in New York City. In a weird twist, Kolodney won only a bronze medal earlier this semester at the state tournament.
Overall, COC finished with three medals, topping last years two-medalist performance in New Orleans. Second-year teammate Loretta Rowley earned a bronze medal in Programmed Oral Interpretation. It was her second medal in as many years, and she won it performing and she won it performing a program about the Real Life Superhero movement, featuring a poem “More Than A Mask.” Co-written with Leach, Rowley’s poem tells the true story of cancer victim Dominic Osorio, who believed he was a super hero in order to fight his brain tumor, but eventually died at the age of 8.
Joining Rowley and Kolodney in winning a medal was first-year competitor Aimee Newton, who was award a bronze medal in Dramatic Interpretation for “The Bridge” — a performance of four non-fiction monologues from people coping from the loss of loved ones, who chose to end their lives by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
COC finished 8th overall at the tournament, which showcased nearly 60 teams.