NHS grad a national poetry champion


From left, coach Chase Elliott, Jahne Manifold and coach Evan Elliott are honored during the tournament’s awards ceremony. (Submitted photos)

A 2018 Noblesville High School graduate is now a national poetry champion after the school’s speech team, Miller Speech, recently competed in the 2018 National Speech & Debate Association National Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Jahne Manifold was crowned National Champion in Poetry for “Where We Live,” which was aimed at spreading awareness of gun violence disproportionately affecting black communities.

One of 463 competitors from 45 states, Manifold brought home the school’s first individual title in becoming Indiana’s first poetry champion since 2002.

Abigail VanMeter performs in the final round of Informative Speaking at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Abigail VanMeter, who also recently graduated from NHS, advanced to the final round of Informative Speaking for the second consecutive year. One of nearly 250 competitors, she placed among the top six speakers. Her speech, “Make it Stick,” highlighted the Post-It and its effect on spreading positive messages in times of tragedy.

Samantha Snyder was named as a top-60 competitor in Humorous Interpretation, and Cameron Hudspeth and Madeline Shelton were named as top-60 competitors in Duo Interpretation.

Freshman Macy Meunier was a quarterfinalist (top 28) in Extemporaneous Commentary.  Mary Blake Brock placed among the top 48 in Expository Speaking, and Kaleigh Newton (Informative Speaking), Katherine Conrad (Informative Speaking), Elissa Maudlin (Dramatic Interpretation) and Benjamin Elliott and Kurt Weigel (Duo Interpretation) all placed in the top 75 in their events.

The association recognized the HS program as a School of Honor, ranking Miller Speech among the top 40 out of approximately 4,500 participating high schools nationwide. This is the second consecutive year the team earned the honor.

Miller Speech is led by coaches Chase Elliott and Evan Elliott.