April 19, 2010

Contact: Chris Franson or Ellen Giloy-Rajkowski / MSHSL







State Speech Tournament

Nine 2009 champions qualified to seek more gold


            Seven 2009 state speech champions return to defend their titles in the same category, while two other returning champions will seek gold in a new category at the 2010 State Speech Tournament that will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter on Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24. Class AA competition will be conducted on Friday and Class A competition will be conducted on Saturday.

            The material chosen by competitors ranges from the classics — Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry in Class A Great Speeches — to the contemporary — Wit by Margaret Edson in Class A Serious Interpretation of Drama. The material written by the competitors themselves always evokes interest, often in titles alone, such as Adam Kunkel’s My Teachers are all Vampires in Class AA Creative Expression, or Aunika Shaw’s The Cookie Jar Crisis in Class AA Original Oratory.

            The tournament features the top three qualifiers from each of eight Class A sections and from each of eight Class AA sections in 13 different speech categories. The 2010 tournament qualifiers represent 162 high school teams — 98 Class A teams and 64 Class AA teams. Students from 332 Minnesota high schools participated in speech during the current school year on 208 Class A teams and 105 Class AA teams.

            The categories are: 1) Serious Interpretation of Prose; 2) Serious Interpretation of Drama; 3) Serious Interpretation of Poetry; 4) Humorous Interpretation; 5) Storytelling; 6) Extemporaneous Reading; 7) Creative Expression; 8) Original Oratory; 9) Great Speeches; 10) Discussion; 11) Extemporaneous Speaking; 12) Informative Speaking; and 13) Duo Interpretation.


            Class A Highlights

            The Class A field features 29 returning medalists from 2010. Five gold medalists return to compete this year, four in the same category and one in a different category. The 2009 champions returning in the same category are Jason Dennis and Luke Swenson of Park Rapids Area in Duo Interpretation, Sarah Bankson of Fairmont in Informative Speaking, and Brady Ysker-Giefer of Windom Area in Serious Interpretation of Poetry. Jeff Rueter of St. Cloud Cathedral, who took top honors in Creative Expression in 2008, also returns in that category this year. If Banksons wins again, it would be her third consecutive title.

            The returning champion who is competing in a different category is Aaron Smith of St. Peter. He won in Great Speeches last year and will compete in Serious Interpretation of Poetry this year.

            The other returning 2009 medalists are: * in Creative Expression – Nathan Gebhard of Park Rapids Area, third, Bailey Zallek of St. Peter, fifth, Justin Feit of Adrian, third in Humorous Interpretation; * in Discussion – Jacob Blum of Underwood, seventh; * in Duo Interpretation – Sam Cook and Zach Taylor of Eagle Valley of Eagle Bend, fifth; * in Extemporaneous Reading – Kayla Barthel of Swanville, fourth, and Alex Miller of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, eighth; * in Extemporaneous Speaking – Caroline Miller of Mounds Park Academy of St. Paul, third, Brett Ubl of Sleepy Eye, seventh, and Ameay Naravane of Mounds Park Academy, eighth; * in Great Speeches – Noora Hussain of St. Anthony Village, runner-up, and Ben Goebel of Mankato Loyola, eighth; * in Humorous Interpretation – Matthew Nordquist of Fairmont, eighth; * in Informative Speaking – Cortney Norell of St. Peter, fourth, and Rachel Parsley of Fairmont, fifth; * in Original Oratory – Alecia Woods of St. Peter, runner-up, Nikky Peters of Cannon Falls, fourth, Marilyn Corson of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, fifth, and Emma Motl of Staples-Motley, seventh; * in Serious Interpretation of Drama – Kate Flinchbaugh of Byron, third in Informative Speaking, Shelby Kitterman of Sauk Centre, seventh, and Morgan LeClaire of Cass Lake-Bena, seventh in Duo Interpretation with Simone LeClaire; * in Serious Interpretation of Prose – Christine Ohenewah of Mankato Loyola, third in Serious Interpretation of Drama, and Chris Kenney of Hawley, sixth in Serious Interpretation of Drama; * in Storytelling – Caitlyn Parsons of Minnewaska Area of Glenwood, seventh, and Breanna Spartz of Round Lake-Brewster, eighth.

            Blackduck leads the Class A field by qualifying 19 competitors. Perham and Cannon Falls qualified 13 competitors apiece, and Fairmont qualified 12 individuals.


            Class AA Highlights

            The Class AA field features 33 medalists from the 2009 field. Of the four defending champions, three will compete in the same category and one will look for gold in a different category. Jessy Soderbeck of Eagan is looking for her third consecutive title in Storytelling, and Lindsey White of Eastview of Apple Valley returns in search of her second gold medal in Humorous Interpretation. David Finseth of Lakeville North is the final champion returning in the same category; he won top honors in Duo Interpretation with Ashley Mardell last year and will compete with Daniel Sandberg this year. Karen Zhou of Lakeville North, who won in Extemporaneous Speaking in 2009, will compete in Informative Speaking this year.

            The other returning 2009 medalists are: * in Creative Expression – Charlie Stokes of Lakeville North, runner-up, and Micah Leslie of Grand Rapids, fourth; * in Discussion – Jordan Rasmusson of Fergus Falls, fourth, Sarah Malaske of Eastview, sixth, and Marie Vanderpan of Woodbury, eighth; * in Duo Interpretation – Emily Kaufenberg of Roseville Area, third in Humorous Interpretation, who will partner with Marshall Covert, sixth in Creative Expression; Damien Dykes of Roseville Area, third in Extemporaneous Reading, who will team up with Marce Gangl; Lilly Roe of Eagan, sixth in Humorous Interpretation, who will pair with James Gage; and Olivia Bennett of Marshall, seventh last year with Charles Hulsizer, who will compete with Nick Dorman; * in Extemporaneous Reading – Andy Troska of Centennial of Circle Pines, fourth, Zoe Bohnen of St. Cloud Tech, fifth, and Kailey Field of Eastview, sixth; * in Extemporaneous Speaking – Meera Sury of Roseville Area, third, and Dylan Slinger of Lakeville South, sixth; * in Great Speeches – Mikaela Warner of Mounds View, third, Clay Schwartzwalter of Moorhead, fourth, Elizabeth Roeske of Eastview, seventh, and Allie Lawler of Prior Lake, eighth; * in Informative Speaking – Joel Jaeger of Centennial, fifth, and Kathleen Jiang of Wayzata, eighth;* in Original Oratory – Ashley Tanberg of Apple Valley, runner-up in Serious Interpretation of Prose, Abbie Gotter of Apple Valley, fifth, and Taylor Thomas of Lakeville North, eighth; * in Serious Interpretation of Drama – Meghan McGill of Lakeville North, eighth; * in Serious Interpretation of Poetry – Hanna Durfee of Duluth Denfeld, fifth in Duo Interpretation with Brian Johnson; * in Serious Interpretation of Prose – Mark Hanna of Moorhead, third, and Brian Johnson of Duluth Denfeld, fifth in Duo Interpretation with Hanna Durfee; * in Storytelling – Brad Hoelscher of St. Cloud Tech, seventh.

            Lakeville North and Roseville Area each qualified 24 individuals. Moorhead and Eagan followed with 21 qualifiers apiece.



            Friday’s schedule begins with the first round at 2:30 p.m. The second and third rounds will begin at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., followed by the finals at 7:45 p.m. Awards will begin at 9:30 p.m.

            On Saturday, the first round will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the second and third rounds will follow at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The finals will begin at 2:45 p.m. and the award ceremony will start at 4:45 p.m.

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            Tournament results will be posted on the League’s Web site. The League’s Web site address is www.MSHSL.org.