By Lorrie Ham
The Westonka speech team competed at the STMA Invitational on Feb. 9, earning enough individual trophies to score the second-place team trophy in the large school division. Individual successes that contributed to the second-place finish included two first-place finishes, two third-place finishes, one fourth-place finish, one fifth-place finish and one seventh-place finish.
Juniors Grace Hanson and Trinity Bielke knocked out all the competition in the duo interpretation category to secure the top spot. Junior Merrick Gormley also took home the first-place trophy in Program Oral Interpretation.
Junior Hampton Velarde placed third in Discussion and Gormley double-entered in Poetry and took home third in that category as well. Junior Anders Erdahl placed fourth in Impromptu, while Bielke took home fifth in Creative Expression. Sophomore Annika Wulf scored high marks and grabbed the seventh-place spot in Original Oratory.
Westonka Speech also boasted several honorable mentions: Erdahl (Discussion), freshman Seth Worden (Humor), freshman Izzy Embury-Braun (Original Oratory), sophomore Maya Jable (Original Oratory), junior Grace Hanson (Original Oratory) and freshman Stephanie Anderson (Storytelling).
“It was a great team effort by Westonka speech,” said coach Kelsey Rausch.