Velásquez Academy has most clearly established itself as a state and national power at the Middle School level. Our accomplishments are not only sterling, they nearly defy belief when taking into account how tiny our core squad of competitors is! Pound for pound (or speaker for speaker, if you will) we carry a very dense core of talent, in that every major competitor is a multi-skilled, serial champion. What is the objective proof of this? Six of the Top Seven 2015 middle school speakers in California were from our squad, and ALL SEVEN of our main competitors made it into the national Top 25 for 2015, an unprecedented feat, with the next-nearest school only placing four competitors!
Despite having only existed for a brief time and having no grounds to expect to contend with programs with multiple, experienced coaches and far more time and money than we, our debut and follow-up year at Nationals yielded astonishing results: EVERY single team member “broke” through to the elimination rounds (5 out of 5 in ’14, 6 out of 6 in ’15) with three Quarter-Finalists (Original Oratory, Declamation, Duo) & one Semi-Finalist (Congressional Debate) in 2014 and four Quarter-Finalists (Storytelling, Original Oratory, two in Declamation), five Semi-Finalists (Duo, Declamation, Original Oratory) & three Finalists (Prose, two in Congressional Debate), including 7th in Original Oratory (Catherine Tanidjaja), 4th in Prose Interpretation (Rachel Kho) and the National Champion in Congressional Debate (Jack Xiao) in 2015.
In addition, our two-year record at the CA Championship Tournament is spectacular :
2014 State Tournament: Impromptu Speaking (State Champion, 11th, 12th), Congressional Debate (2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th), Declamation (2nd, 8th, 9th), Original Oratory (2nd), Dramatic Interpretation (2nd), Duo Interpretation (5th)
2015 State Tournament: Congressional Debate (State Champion, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th), Declamation (State Champion, 4th, 6th, 10th), Dramatic Interpretation (2nd, 6th), Poetry Interpretation (2nd), Duo Interpretation (3rd), Extemporaneous Speaking (4th), Original Oratory (5th, 9th), Impromptu Speaking (7th, 10th)