By Kelsey Rausch
Westonka Speech competed at the Prior Lake Invitational Feb. 1 and saw great success. First and foremost, the team had over 20 competitors receive awards, which resulted in a third-place finish overall for the team.
Most notably, four entries earned NIETOC bids—one of three necessary to gain entry into the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions. The students who earned NIETOC bids were ninth-grader Ilana Andrev (Informative), junior Maya Jable (Original Oratory), junior Annika Wulf (Original Oratory), and seniors Grace Hanson and Trinity Bielke (Duo).
Also worth noting, junior Josh Nkhata came away with second place in Program Oral Interpretation. Andrev also had a second-place finish in Informative.
The following students were also awarded for their success at the tournament:
- junior Josh Nkhata, third place in Creative Expression Next-In Finals & second place in POI Finals
- senior Grace Hanson, fifth place in Discussion Finals
- senior Trinity Bielke, third place in Extemporaneous Reading Next-In Finals
- Hanson/Bielke, fourth place in Duo Next-in Finals (NIETOC)
- senior Anders Erdahl, fifth place in Discussion Next-In Finals
- junior Maya Jable, Discussion Honorable Mention & seventh place in Original Oratory Finals (NIETOC)
- ninth-grader Laura Sunnarborg, Discussion Honorable Mention
- ninth-grader Samantha Kummrow, Discussion Honorable Mention
- ninth-grader Julia Aland, Dramatic Interpretation Honorable Mention
- ninth-grader Ilana Andrev, seventh place in Extemporaneous Speaking Next-In Finals & second place in Informative Finals (NIETOC)
- junior Katherine Johnson, fifth place in Informative Next-in Finals
- junior Annika Wulf, fifth place in Original Oratory Finals (NIETOC)
- junior Merrick Gormely, first place in Poetry Next-in Finals & sixth place in POI Finals
- junior Ryan Allen, sixth place Storytelling Next-in Finals
- senior Gage Olson, fourth place Storytelling Finals
- senior Adam Born, third place Storytelling Finals
Next Saturday, Feb. 8, Westonka Speech will be traveling to St. Michael-Albertville to compete in a tournament. Looking ahead to President’s Day weekend, a select group of Westonka Speech competitors will be flying to Boston to compete at the Harvard National Forensics Tournament.