The Forest Lake junior high speech team took the championship trophy with 162 team points at the conference meet on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Central Middle School in White Bear Lake.
A distant second place went to the team from St. Anthony, with a score of 85. Eden Prairie followed with 58 points, White Bear Lake with 38, Minnetonka with 36, and Centennial with 18.
Forest Lake had five all-conference champions: ninth graders Andrea Dunrud in Informative Speaking, Brianna Flasch in Creative Expression and Megan Storkan in Great Speeches, and eight-graders Zoey-Sonke Anderson in Storytelling and Erin McCleary in Extemporaneous Reading.
Of the 45 Forest Lake students participating, 33 won medals or ribbons.
The most team points, 30, were awarded in the Great Speeches category. Century students earned first through fifth places with their rhetorical analysis and study of great speeches in history: Megan Storkan took first, Kendra Anderson second, Joe Gorka third, Caleb Anderson fourth and Zach Pothen fifth. All but one of the Great Speeches participants will enter high school next year.
Speakers in the Informative category earned 22 and in the Original category, 21. In these categories, contestants write and prepare their own speeches based upon research and personal opinion.
In informative Andrea Dunrud took first, Elizabeth Blount second, and Jacob Oberholtzer fourth.
In Extemporaneous Speaking (20 team points) eighth graders Lucas Byle placed second, Klare Hollenkamp third, Alex Biedny fourth, and Owen Friesen fifth.
As they did all season, the competitors in Original Oratory were strong points generators: Niki Schwensen took second, Marisa Kasel third, Lauren Wachter fourth, Sara de Sobrino fifth, Angelica Van Heel sixth, and Caleb Riermann seventh.
In Serious Poetry, Victoria Heald earned second place, Jaleah Stewart third and Tori Johnson fourth.
Anna Felland in Serious Prose and Emma Lindstrom in Drama both brought home sixth-place ribbons.
Speech Captain Brianna Flasch took first place in Creative Expression, followed in second place by last year’s champion Cullen Gaffy. Shelby Miller placed seventh.
The Storytelling category had four Forest Lake finalists and an all-conference speaker: Zoey-Sonke Anderson placed first, Michelle Perkins fifth, Violet Zupon sixth and Caroline Hansen seventh.
Erin Mc Cleary came away with first place in Extemporaneous Reading, followed by Katrin Rink in third place and Shelby Collins in sixth. Rink came to the meet after suffering a concussion.
Next year’s speech captains will be Kendra Anderson, Zoey Sonke-Anderson, Alex Biedny, Owen Friesen, and Klare Hollemkamp.
While junior high speech season has ended, the senior high speech team season is just starting.