Reseda : 4 Students Compete in Forensic Contest

Four Cleveland High School students will compete for individual honors in the National Forensic League championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Monday, school officials said.

One of the students, Andrea Collins, won first place in two categories, humorous interpretation and original oratory, at the national qualifying event held in May in Manhattan Beach. That is a rare accomplishment, said her coach, Sarah Rosenberg.

"It was a lot of hard work and devotion," Rosenberg said. "Everything she does, she just throws herself into it."

Collins, 17, a junior, will perform a humorous scene from the play "El Grande de Coca-Cola," a short sketch about a Honduran nightclub owner who dreams of being a star. She also will give a speech in the original oratory category about immigrant rights, a topic inspired by her great-grandmother's emigration from Russia.

This is the first time that students from the same school took first place in all three categories, the thrust of which is dramatic interpretation, Rosenberg said.

Meranda Walden, a senior, won first place at the Manhattan Beach event in the dramatic interpretation category. However, because she is unable to attend, senior Zina Zaflow, 18, will go in her place.

Zaflow won first place in the dramatic interpretive category last month at the California State Speech Championships in San Bernardino. In Monday's competition, she will perform a scene from the play "The Toyer," about a serial killer who stalks women.

Alan Loayza, 17, a junior who placed second in the San Bernardino contest, will portray an array of characters from the movie, "Eating Raoul," about a couple resorting to murder to raise money to open a restaurant. He will compete in the humorous category.

Junior Sean Henry, also a 17-year-old senior, will tackle a gay rights topic in the original oratory category.

Rosenberg said she and assistant speech coach Louis Cardenas will accompany the team to Florida.

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