2019 Irving, Marshall Declamation Teams Ready to Compete

Mercersburg’s two rival student literary societies have announced their lineups of declaimers for this winter’s highly anticipated Prize Speaking Contest (more commonly known as Declamation), which is the culminating event of Irving-Marshall Week.
The Washington Irving Literary Society and John Marshall Literary Society renew their spirited annual intersociety competition during Irving-Marshall Week 2019, to be held this year Sunday, February 24, through Thursday, February 28. Declamation is set for February 28 at 7:15 p.m. in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.
The lineup of Irving declaimers for 2019 is Ike Hearon ’19 (Peru, Vt.), Carmen Martinez ’20 (Bethesda, Md.), Will Maurer ’20 (Mercersburg, Pa.), Katie Owens ’19 (San Antonio, Texas), and Ellie Wilkie ’19 (Alexandria, Va.). Tanaka Mukudzavhu ’20 (Boonsboro, Md.) and Emma Shuford ’22 (Hickory, N.C.) are Irving’s declaimers-in-training.
Marshall’s quintet is comprised of Grace Bennett ’19 (Mercersburg, Pa.), Eliza DuBose ’20 (Rollinsville, Colo.), Elizabeth Heidecker ’19 (Gettysburg, Pa.), Jerry Jaime Gomory ’19 (Mérida, Mexico), and Amelia Page ’21 (Alexandria, Va.), with Isonah Dlodlo ’22 (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Clara Getty ’21 (Allentown, Pa.) both chosen as Marshall’s declaimers-in-training.
Maurer and Wilkie are both returning declaimers from 2018; in fact, Wilkie will represent Irving on the Simon Theatre stage for the fourth-straight year. (She is the lone 2019 declaimer to have placed at a previous Declamation; she finished third in 2016 as a ninth-grader.)
While none of Marshall’s five declaimers has official Declamation experience, Page was a declaimer-in-training last year—and Marshall has won the competition in each of the past three years and in six of the last seven years. Irving’s lone victory in that span came in 2015.
Every student at Mercersburg is a member of one of the two societies, and those with family members who have previously attended the school may choose to represent the same society as well.
Declamation is the grand finale of Irving-Marshall Week, a midwinter competition where Irving and Marshall face off in everything from basketball and swimming to chess and table tennis. Societies earn points all week for victories in individual events, with the lion’s share of points awarded to first-place, second-place, and third-place winners at Declamation.
Pictured: (top row, L-R) Ike Hearon, Carmen Martinez, Will Maurer, Grace Bennett, Eliza DuBose, Elizabeth Heidecker. (second row) Katie Owens, Ellie Wilkie, Jerry Jaime Gomory, Amelia Page. (third row) Tanaka Mukudzavhu, Emma Shuford, Isonah Dlodlo, Clara Getty.

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.
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