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Monday, June 22, 2009

O'Gorman's Hartzell, Vermillion's Miller and Gutzman Score Big at Speech Nats

An eager reader sends an update on the National Speech Tournament, which took place last week in Birmingham, Alabama. Sponsored by the National Forensic League, Nationals brings together thousands of sharp-dressed, sharp-tongued young people for a full week of civil discourse and fine performances.

Some South Dakota highlights:
  • Sioux Falls O'Gorman senior Whitney Hartzell made finals (after 12 rounds of competition!) and placed 6th in Humor.
  • Vermillion juniors Sam Miller and Tyler Gutzman placed 10th in policy debate. They made it to Round 12 before being knocked out, on a 2-1 decision, by last year's champs from Colleyville Heritage HS, Texas. Miller also won the 7th place speaker award for policy debate. They'll be back. (But Sam, don't think I won't vote you down again if you bring me another whacky faux-oratory! ;-) )
  • All four of South Dakota's policy debate teams were among the 69 teams that broke out of prelims (out of 201 teams entered). Brookings debaters Matt Aadland and James Kerr made it to Round 10. Aberdeen debaters Michael Holkesvik and Colter Heirigs made Round 9. Yankton debaters Mallory Schulte and Emily Bosch made Round 8.
Full unofficial results are available from the NFL. Kudos to all South Dakota speakers!

Speech sidenote: NFL veteran and former O'Gorman interp standout Morgan Peck won the Miss South Dakota crown over the weekend! See? High school speech activities teach you to keep your poise, even at the sight of Shawn Cable dressed up as an elf (or a confused Vulcan?).

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