After placing second at the 2021 Speech and Debate State Championship, Patrick Blomberg ‘24 felt there was more he could accomplish. Fast-forward to a year later and the sophomore can now claim ownership over a few more trophies.
Already the 2022 State Champion in Declamation and Program Oral Interpretation, Blomberg took first place in Declamation at the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament in Washington D.C. over Memorial Day weekend.
“It was unbelievable. It’s something you think about when you practice every single day, and you never really know if it'll come true, but it's almost like a relief that all my hard work and dedication paid off,” Blomberg said of the win.
A national title has been a goal of Blomberg since he qualified for the NCFL Grand National as a freshman. Competing in Dramatic Performance, he made it to the final round, which consisted mostly of seniors. As his teammates began helping him for the last round at the expense of their own preparation time, he realized that he had the support system to make a run at a national title.
“The people around me really cared about how far I went, and they wanted me to go to nationals just as badly as I wanted to go to nationals. That's a system of support that has helped me and made me realize that it was totally a possibility,” he said.
Other notable performances from the weekend came from Aidan Healy ‘22, Sean Fay ‘22, Chris Boensel ‘24, and Johnny Cardarelli ‘23, who all took part in the round of 16 for their events. Graham Horowitz ‘23 made it to the quarterfinals in Declamation, and the team of James Julian ’22 and Will Cummings ‘23 were semi-finalists in Duos.
“Just getting that far was an honor, especially on the national stage competing against people who you hear about nationally through speech. Being recognized at that level is great in the moment, but it's great for motivation for tournaments to come, validating yourself as a speaker, and knowing that in about two weeks' time at the national tournament you can compete at a high level if not higher,” Cummings said.
The team’s last competition of the year will be the National Speech and Debate Tournament, June 12-17 in Louisville, Kentucky.