Fantastic Four: Marshall Wins Fourth-Straight Irving-Marshall Competition

The overall result of 2019’s Irving-Marshall Week at Mercersburg? The same as in 2018, and 2017, and 2016, with the John Marshall Literary Society outlasting the rival Washington Irving Literary Society for the fourth year in a row. Marshall won this year by a score of 1350-650 on the strength of a first-place Declamation finish by Elizabeth Heidecker ’19.
Heidecker, of Gettysburg, Pa., received top marks from the Declamation judges for her performance of a piece she wrote, “Suburbia.” Her Marshall teammate Grace Bennett ’19 (Mercersburg, Pa.) placed second (for Sarah Vowell’s “Shooting Dad”), and Irving’s Ike Hearon ’19 (Peru, Vt.) took third for his rendition of Duncan Macmillan’s “Every Brilliant Thing.”

Watch a recap of Irving-Marshall Week 2019.

Irving’s quintet of Hearon, Carmen Martinez ’20 (Bethesda, Md.), Will Maurer ’20 (Mercersburg, Pa.), Katie Owens ’19 (San Antonio, Texas), and Ellie Wilkie ’19 (Alexandria, Va.) was chosen by the judges as the strongest overall Declamation team.

Marshall has now won the weeklong competition in 11 of the past 13 years. It’s the first four-year win streak for either society since Marshall emerged victorious each year from 2007 to 2010.

Head of School Katie Titus announced the results at an all-school dance following Declamation February 28. The week as a whole was held February 24-28.

Every student is a member of one of the two societies, which clash all week in matchups ranging from basketball, dodgeball, and swimming to chess, billiards, and foosball. Points are at stake in every event. The competition reaches a fever pitch at Declamation (formally known as the “Irving-Marshall Prize Speaking Contest”), where five representatives of each society adorn themselves in formalwear and deliver prepared monologues in front of a theatre filled with their peers, faculty and staff, Titus, and three distinguished judges.

Five of the last seven winners of the Scoblionko Declamation Cup (Heidecker, John Leiner ’17, Elma Hoffman ’17, Caitlin Cremins ’14, and David Glass ’13) have been Marshall members.

Elizabeth Heidecker ’19 (Marshall), first place: John K. Berger Prize, John S. Derr Prize, and Scoblionko Declamation Cup (given by David Scoblionko ’66 and Eric Scoblionko ’72)
Grace Bennett ’19 (Marshall), second place: J. Harry Wood Prize, John S. Derr Prize
Ike Hearon ’19 (Irving), third place: Dorothy Baker Prize, John S. Derr Prize
Irving team: John K. and Mary Jane Berger Prize

Marshall entered Declamation with an 850-450 lead after five days of competition.

Daphne Valen ’19 (Irving) and Hunter Roberts ’19 (Marshall) served as this year’s society presidents. Earlier this month, Marshall secured 136 gifts to Irving’s 104 in the 15th Annual Irving-Marshall Annual Fund Competition for Alumni and Parents, which supported the Mercersburg Annual Fund.

Read more about the Irving and Marshall societies.

Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236