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home : local news : local news
February 17, 2020

2/7/2020 3:02:00 PM
Walker Talkers earn awards at Grand Rapids and Duluth
By Ben Offerman WHA Speech Coach

Last week was busy for the Walker Talkers. It began on Tuesday night with a rescheduled competition in Grand Rapids, and it ended on Saturday in Duluth at the Denfeld Rotary Tournament. Walker performed well at both tournaments, leaving with a number of awards in hand.

The Grand Rapids tournament, which is traditionally an early bird, was postponed due to weather. The tournament hosted three speaking rounds and awarded ribbons to the top speakers. That following weekend, Walker was on the bus again, this time traveling to Denfeld High School to compete in the 59th Annual Rotary Tournament. This competition was march larger compared to Grand Rapids; 24 schools were in attendance with over 500 speakers in competition. Walker came prepared and broke several speakers into final rounds, in addition to earning several ribbons. The Walker Speech Team proved their strength early in the season by returning from both tournaments with awards in hand.

The following speakers earned ribbons at the Grand Rapids Early Bird: Molly Massar earned a blue ribbon in Creative, Katelyn DeLost earned a red ribbon in Creative, Ada Muller earned a red ribbon in Discussion, Allaura Mandelbaum earned a white ribbon in Drama, Madison Kendrick earned a white ribbon in Drama, Leo Burns earned a red ribbon in Humor, Lily Pedersen earned a blue ribbon in Humor, Jayda Dickson earned a white ribbon in Informative, Willow Damar earned a red ribbon in Poetry, Sophia Landreville earned a red ribbon in Poetry, Julie Schock earned a red ribbon in Poetry, Logan Wales earned a white ribbon in Prose, and Geo Morris earned a red ribbon in Prose.

The following speakers earned ribbons at the Duluth Tournament: Sophia Landreville earned a ribbon in Poetry, Willow Damar earned a ribbon in Poetry, Julie Schock earned a ribbon in Poetry, Natalie Resch-Seely earned a ribbon in Discussion, Logan Wales earned a ribbon in Prose, Madison Kendrick earned a ribbon in Drama, Leo Burns earned a ribbon in Humor, and Vance Ashmore earned a ribbon in Oratory. The next set of speakers broke into the Honor Final round: Katelyn DeLost placed second in Creative, Jayda Dickson placed third in Informative, and Geo Morris placed sixth in Prose. Finally, two Walker speakers broke into the Final round: Molly Massar placed seventh in Creative, and Lily Pedersen placed fifth in Humor.

The tournament also awarded the highest scoring teams: Chaska placed first, followed by Shakopee, Forrest Lake, St. Michael-Albertville, and Pequot Lakes.

With the beginning of each season often comes a tough realization for speakers. The confidence they build through successful performances over the course of several competitions often shadows the difficulties that come with the start of the next season. It is often forgotten that the success they built took time and patience. It takes several tournaments to re-cut a speech, to develop blocking, to complete a piece of writing, or to simply perform with confidence. Now that the Walker Talkers have four competitions under their belt, they are slowly honing that competitive edge. With each week, they return to competition stronger, and more prepared.

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