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harry_woodHarry Wood (I) is performing at the top of his game in speech tournaments this year, but he is more interested in focusing the spotlight on the Speech Team as a whole. This winter, the team traveled to George Mason University for a nationally renowned tournament.

“We had a fantastic tournament as a team,” says Harry, who is one of the team captains. “We placed ninth out of 104 teams, which was huge. Almost everyone on the team ‘broke,’ meaning they moved on to the next round of their category.”

Harry came in first place in both the Humorous Interpretation event and the Original Oratory event. He finished second in Prose and was a semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation. This achievement earned him one of five individual competitor awards, which recognize strong performances in four or more events.

“My results were the most visible, but the weekend was a success for everyone,” says Harry. “The best part was walking into my final for Prose with all the coaches and my teammates there to watch. That was really special.”

Harry is known for pushing the edge with his material, which often pays off in a national tournament where judges look for originality. “I choose material that I think is unique and that no one else will be doing or expecting,” he says. Harry spends a lot of time reviewing written feedback from previous tournaments and tweaking his pieces.

In addition to working on their own material, Speech Team members help coach the Middle School Speech Team. After George Mason, the team paired up with 18 Milton eighth-graders to compete at the “Holly” tournament at Natick High School. Students competed in one or more of 22 events, as well as a special “pentathlon” event open to only one student from each school. Harry competed for Milton and won this event for the third time.