By Kelsey Rausch
Last weekend, Westonka Speech competed in two different tournaments across Minnesota. Half of the team drove up to Marshall, Minnesota, to compete in the Marshall Speech Spectacular two-day tournament, Jan. 25 and 26. The other half of the team competed Saturday in Andover High School’s tournament.
Most notably, junior Merrick Gormley came away as Poetry Champion at the Marshall Speech Spectacular. Gormley is the first Westonka Speech student to leave as the champion in any category at the often-challenging tournament.
Additionally, Westonka Speech had several students break into quarterfinals and semifinals at Marshall. Those students included: senior Anders Erdahl in Discussion, senior Grace Hanson in Discussion, sophomore Samantha Pickert in Discussion, seniors Conner Jones and Adam Born in Duo, sophomore Izzy Embery in Great Speeches, Born in Storytelling, senior Gage Olson in Storytelling, junior Christian Henkels in Great Speeches, senior Trinity Bielke for Extemporaneous Reading, and ninth-grader Ernie Brothen in Storytelling.
Westonka Speech also saw success at Andover High School, with the team placing second overall in the small schools category. Sophomore Nic Doepnerhove, a Westonka Speech novice competing in Humorous Interpretation, broke into finals and placed second overall in his first tournament ever. Westonka had two other students reach the podium at Andover: ninth-grader Grace Cunningham, second in Discussion; and ninth-grader Ilana Andrev, fourth in Informative.