Loud And Proud

Every Speech Competitor Breaks Finals

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Delany Jepsen

Bobby Wilson Before performing, Brooke Behrens (23), Avery Langholdt (21) and Gavin Egger (21) rehearse their OID entitled “Bobby Wilson Can Eat His Own Face.” “Performing in person at Skutt has its own challenges with masks but I was so grateful for the opportunity to perform in front of an audience again,” Langholdt said. “I’m glad that this was my first competition of my senior year.” The OID placed third overall.

With speech season beginning and students signing up for practice times, competitors and coaches alike were unaware if a normal competition season would be possible due to COVID-19 guidelines. Performers competed virtually via Zoom for the first few meets of the season, but on Jan. 22, the team traveled to Skutt Catholic High School to compete in person for the first time.
Restrictions were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. During a typical year, students would be seen crowding the cafeteria or gymnasium after their performances, nervous to see the list of who made the final rounds. In order to maintain social distancing, each school was assigned a homeroom and they were required to stay in that room between rounds and before and after the competition. Masks were required at all times except when performing.
“I am super excited that we are able to have a competition in person.” junior Brynna Seim said. “It felt a little odd to have no spectators in the audience, especially in finals. Normally there are more people in the room so I perform with more energy. This time it just felt empty. I’m happy it was in person though because giving a speech to a screen is almost impossible.”
After the preliminary rounds ended, the team waited in their homeroom until the lists for final rounds were posted. Slowly but surely, each event posted their final round results and every competing member earned a spot. The team dispersed from their homeroom to perform for the last time of the night. After everyone returned, the team patiently waited for awards to be broadcasted from the library via Zoom.
“Seeing everyone break finals was surreal,” head speech coach Ms. Grace Kimnach said. “First, it confirmed what I already knew: my students are dedicated and talented performers. Second, it reassured me that I’m on the right track when it comes to doing right by this team. I hope I can keep being the coach students need and I hope we continue to see just as much competitive success moving forward.”
The night ended with Seim and sophomore Madyson Self placing fifth and fourth respectively in Entertainment Speaking, junior Grace Russell placing sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking, junior Delany Jepsen placing sixth in Informative Speaking, junior Charles Sams placing second in Humorous Interpretation, senior Samantha Chase and junior Chloe Irwin placing sixth and first respectively in Dramatic Interpretation, seniors Avery Langholdt and Gavin Egger, sophomores Brooke Behrens and Caleb Jones and Sams placing third in Oral Interpretation of Drama and as a team placing second overall.