The Moraine Valley Community College Speech Team will compete in the National Phi Rho Pi Speech and Debate Tournament April 5 in Nevada.

Team members earned a spot at nationals after winning the gold medal in Overall Sweepstakes at the Region IV tournament March 22 and 23, hosted at Prairie State College. The tournament included community colleges from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Co-captain Natalie Jurcik, of Bridgeview, was the overall tournament top speaker, winning gold medals in Communication Analysis, Prose Interpretation, Persuasive Speaking, and Dramatic Interpretation. Jurcik also won the coveted Cherry Cory Award. Jennifer Gutierrez, of Bridgeview, tied for third place in overall top speaker, earning silver medals in Prose Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Communication Analysis and Program of Interpretation.

Gold medals were awarded to Moises Bello, of Oak Lawn, in Informative Speaking; and to Peter Granato, of Orland Park, in Debate. Moises also earned a bronze medal in Poetry. Julian Camacho, of Bridgeview, took home bronze medals in Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking. Co-captain Ethan Gallant, of Chicago Ridge, earned a silver medal in Prose Interpretation and bronze medals in Persuasive Speaking and Speech to Entertain. David Ward, of Oak Lawn, won silver medals in Duo Interpretation and Prose Interpretation, and a bronze medal in Program of Interpretation.

In addition, Jeff Rieck, a longtime volunteer coach for the team, was voted the 2019 Top Coach of Phi Rho Pi Region IV. The team is coached by John Nash, professor of Communications; Krista Appelquist, professor of Communications; Amanda Pettigrew, Communications instructor, and Rieck.