Uni journalism team wins IHSA sectional championship
Published: Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 10:23pm
URBANA — Led by senior Michelle Gao's two first-place finishes, Uni High won an IHSA sectional championship in journalism today.
Seven sectional contests took place throughout the state. Uni competed in the Champaign sectional, held at Gregory Hall on the University of Illinois campus.
The top five teams at the U of I competition:
- 1. UNI HIGH — 72 pts
2. Taylorville — 59 pts
3. Oakwood — 53 pts
4. Normal Community — 45 pts
5. Centennial — 31 pts
The contest consisted of 15 events. The top three students in each event qualified for the IHSA state finals, which will be held April 26 at Eastern Illinois University.
Uni students qualified for state in 11 events:
- Advertising — Michelle Gao, 1st place
- Info Graphics — Isaac Chambers, 1st place
- Review Writing — Kumars Salehi, 1st place
- Sports Writing — Chris Yoder, 1st place
- Yearbook Copy Writing — Michelle Gao, 1st place
- Copy Editing — Jie Han, 2nd place
- Editorial Writing — Kumars Salehi, 2nd place
- Feature Photography — Chris Nixon, 2nd place
- Newspaper Design — Isaac Chambers, 2nd place
- Yearbook Layout: Double-Page Spread — Linda Ly, 2nd place
- Yearbook Theme Development — Linda Ly & Avanti Chajed, 3rd place
Uni students placed in three other events but did not qualify for state:
- Editorial Cartooning — Chris Yoder, 4th place
- Headline Writing — Jie Han, 5th place
- News Writing — Carl Zielinski, 5th place
Uni's point total was the highest in the state out of the seven sectional champions. New Trier, the winner of the Schaumburg (Roosevelt University) sectional, was second with 69. Uni's margin of victory (13) was also highest in the state, followed by New Trier's (12).
Gao became the first Uni student to win two first-place sectional awards in the three years the competition has existed.
In all, eight Uni students — drawn equally from the Gargoyle and yearbook staffs — will advance to the journalism state finals next weekend:
- Avanti Chajed
- Isaac Chambers
- Michelle Gao
- Jie Han
- Linda Ly
- Chris Nixon
- Kumars Salehi
- Chris Yoder
This is Uni's second sectional title in journalism in three years. Uni won the inaugural championship in 2006 and placed second to Taylorville in 2007.
This is also Uni's best overall performance:
- 2006 — four firsts, three seconds
- 2007 — five firsts, three seconds
- 2008 — five firsts, five seconds
Last year, Uni placed ninth at the state tournament out of 61 teams.