Mount Pleasant High School swimmers advance to regionals
The Mount Pleasant High School Swim Team competed at the District meet in Texarkana on Saturday, January 18. The MPHS boys and girls teams each placed 3rd overall. MPHS will send twelve swimmers to the Regional meet in Lewisville on January 31-February 1.
Advancing to regionals are boys team members Caleb Ball, Jacob Elliott, Ty Hearron, Peyton Hein, Elijah Rider, Ryan Sharp, Sam Sloan, and Jack Welborn. Advancing for the girls are Reese Ball, Isabella Greco, Hannah Harvill, and MaKayla Houchin.
Full results from district include (regional qualifiers marked with a *)
-Girls 200 Medley Relay*-2nd place: Isabella Greco, Hannah Harvill, MaKayla Houchin, Reese Ball
-Boys 200 Medley Relay*-3rd place: Ty Hearron, Jacob Elliott, Ryan Sharp, Sam Sloan
-Girls 200 Freestyle Relay*-3rd place: Isabella Greco, Hannah Harvill, MaKayla Houchin, Reese Ball
-Boys 200 Freestyle Relay*-3rd place: Ty Hearron, Jacob Elliott, Ryan Sharp, Sam Sloan
-400 Freestyle Relay* 3rd place: Jack Welborn, Peyton Hein, Elijah Rider, Caleb Ball
-50 Freestyle: 5th place Ty Hearron*, 9th place Jacob Elliott, 13th place Sam Sloan, 16th place Sam Brown
-100 Butterfly-3rd place MaKayla Houchin*
-100 Butterfly-2nd place Ryan Sharp*, 11th place Peyton Hein
-100 Freestyle-4th place Isabella Greco*, 6th place Hannah Harvill*
-100 Freestyle-8th place Jack Welborn, 9th place Caleb Ball, 11th place Sam Sloan, 12th place Sam Brown
-100 Backstroke-5th place Isabella Greco*, 6th place Reese Ball*
-100 Backstroke-1st place Ryan Sharp*, 7th place Ty Hearron, 9th place Elijah Rider
-100 Breaststroke-5th place MaKayla Houchin*, 6th place Hannah Harvill*
-100 Breaststroke-8th place Jack Welborn, 9th place Jacob Elliott, 10th place Caleb Ball, 12th place Peyton Hein
“This is the largest number of swimmers we have taken to the regional swim meet,” said MPHS Swim coach, Kristi Houchin. “I am very impressed with how our sport is growing in high school. I have four first-year swimmers this year, three of which are advancing to the regional meet. The state swim meet is February 14th and 15th in Austin. Praying that we have swimmers advance to that one as well.”
Swim district 2020 MPHS Boys:
Middle, L to R—Ryan Sharp, Caleb Ball, Ty Hearron, Sam Sloan
Back, L to R—Jacob Elliott, Peyton Hein, Sam Brown, Jack Welborn
Swim district 2020 MPHS Girls:
L to R: Hannah Harvill, Isabella Greco, MaKayla Houchin, Reese Ball
L to R: MPHS Speech and Debate coach Cody Morris, Caroline Rose, Connelly Cowan
L to R: Ryan Sharp, Connelly Cowan, Caroline Rose
Contact: Kelly Cowan
MPHS Congressional debaters bring home State awards
It was a historic trip to Austin for the Mount Pleasant High School Debate Team. While MPHS had made the trip to Congress state before, no one had ever advanced to the finals, and no one had ever brought home a state award in that event. On this trip, they would accomplish both of those goals.
Congress is an individual contest in a large group setting. It models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress.
Within this mock legislative assembly competition, contestants draft legislation submitted to the tournament, and they research the docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies before the contest to prepare their speeches. Parliamentary procedure forms structure for the discourse, and students extemporaneously respond to other’s arguments throughout a session. Judges evaluate contestants for their research and analysis of issues, argumentation, skill in asking and answering questions, use of the parliamentary procedure, and clarity and fluency of speaking. A student Presiding Officer (PO) runs the session. The PO’s job includes four things: recognizing speakers, giving time signals, conducting votes, and keeping order.
On day one at the University Teaching Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, officials split 51 5A competitors representing 31 school districts from across the state of Texas into three groups of 17, known as Chambers. After two preliminary rounds, the top six competitors from each chamber would advance to day two, known as Super Congress. At the end of day one, senior Caroline Rose and sophomore Connelly Cowan made school history, becoming the first MPHS Debate team members to advance to 5A Super Congress. Junior Ryan Sharp narrowly missed advancing by just two places.
On day two, the 18 5A finalists would compete for state medals on the floor of the Texas State Capitol. The finalists competed in large rooms used for committee meetings where actual debates on current legislation happen regularly! Rose was elected to the role of Presiding Officer and chose to preside over the afternoon session. At the end of day two, they awarded six competitors UIL State medals, and one received the Top Presiding Officer gavel.
Cowan received the UIL 5A Congress State 4th place medal. It was her 1st appearance at Congress State, but her third appearance at UIL state meets overall. The finish earned her third state medal, adding to her state championship in Informative Extemp and her bronze medal in Cross-Examination Debate. She will now shift her focus to Cross-Examination Debate.
“Competing at UIL State Congress was a formative experience both through the relationships I formed and the research I conducted,” said Cowan. “I feel truly honored to have received the opportunity and am incredibly grateful for the support of Coach Morris and the MPISD administration.”
Rose earned the 5A Top Presiding Officer gavel. It was her second appearance at state and her first state award, capping off a great high school Congress career. She will now turn her attention to the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
“As this is my last high school UIL congressional debate, it is bittersweet,” said Rose. “Having competed since my freshman year, I appreciate looking back at how much I have learned and grown through my experiences. While it has been a lot of hard work, I have had great support from my coach and fellow classmates. I feel that I have learned a lot of life skills that I will take with me to the next phase of my life as I transition to Texas A&M University.”
“It was an amazing week,” said MPHS Speech and Debate coach, Cody Morris. “This was the third consecutive State Speech and Debate tournament to have someone from MPHS on the podium. To not only have the 4th place medalist but to also have the Top Presiding Officer in all of 5A, as a coach, I couldn’t be prouder of the work these students have put in. They had to prepare over 60 speeches, 40 of those on their own time over Christmas break, and compete for over 18 hours. It is not easy to do what these students did, and I am grateful for what they contribute to this team.”
The next major event for MPHS Speech and Debate is the Cross-Examination District meet on January 28 at the Region VIII Service Center.