Top row (left to right): Emma Watson, Kendall Lawless, Miah Barsness, Jessica Baszuro, Cannon Quade. Middle row (left to right): Angel Zheng, Grace Miller, Conor Salmonson, Emma Shepersky, Ava Brokate. Bottom row (left to right): Teagan Strecker, Sara Auger, Aizlynn Thim, Bianca Caputo, Lauren Ritz. 

The Speech season is picking up the pace now that the third tournament has wrapped up. This competition hosted over a dozen teams and was run by Farmington High School. The Cannon Falls Speech Team took second overall. In some aspects, Farmington’s tournament preserved the feeling of a standard Saturday, and speech is beginning to glide into a good groove.

Having to speak in separate rooms can make interacting with the rest of the team difficult, but being able to meet up between rounds has made it easier. And the excitement of waiting as a group to see who made it into finals is quite similar to pre-covid tournaments. Lauren Ritz, a sophomore on the CFHS Speech team agreed, explaining, “It was different, but anticipating the results and celebrating the speakers who did well made it feel like any other tournament.” This outlook is shared by Kressin Hartl, a senior captain on the team. “Saturday felt surprisingly normal. I still got to see everyone and give my speech,” said Hartl. 

The Farmington competition did a couple of things. Most importantly, it was a chance for speakers and coaches to become even more familiar with the online format used on Saturday. Becoming more familiar with this format will make future tournaments run smoother, and concerns about Wi-Fi connection and camera placement continue to shrink as competitors figure out what works for them.  Luckily these benefits are becoming trends as the team continues to practice for each Saturday.

This past Saturday was a big step in the right direction. The rounds were enjoyable, passed by quickly, and helped resolve some of the problems our speakers were having. Hopefully next Saturday will go just as smoothly.

Awards were announced Monday night at the team practice, individual category placings followed by team sweepstakes. Second place award winners were Aizlynn Thim in Extemporaneous Reading, Cannon Quade in Humorous, and Conor Salmonson in Poetry. Third place award winners were Kendall Lawless in Drama and Lauren Ritz in Storytelling. Fourth place award winners were Teagan Strecker in Discussion, Emma Shepersky in Drama, Ava Brokate in Extemporaneous Reading, Bianca Caputo in Informative Speaking, and Sara Auger in Storytelling. Grace Miller earned the fifth place award in Extemporaneous Reading. Sixth place award winners were Emma Watson in Humourous and Samuel Coyle in Storytelling. Seventh place award winners were Angel Zheng in Great Speeches, Kendahl Zimmerman and Bowen Maki in Duo interpretation, Miah Barsness in Poetry, and Jessica Baszuro in Prose.

This coming weekend the team will compete at the Red Wing Invitational.

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