Speech & Debate News

Sights set on State, Spuds advance 29 speakers, win section 8AA title for 26th straight season

MOORHEAD, Minn. - The Spuds successfully defended their Section 8AA title as 29 speakers qualified for the 2021 MSHSL State Tournament. Moorhead claimed 11 of 13 first place finishes en route to matching the most state qualifying entries in team history (2018). With the top three advancing in each event, the Spuds swept Drama, Great Speeches, Humor, and Oratory.

The full results packet can be found here. Team results are below.

Moorhead will now prepare for their Class AA title defense. The Spuds have won the team championship at each of the last four State Tournaments.

2021 Sections Results


  • Molly Blanchard - 5th

  • Tate Horan - 3rd

  • Ethan Larson - Champion


  • Scout Holding Eagle-Bushaw - Champion

  • Olivia Kelly - 6th

  • Iris Ming - 3rd


  • Lily Kjos - 3rd

  • Stella Mehlhoff - 2nd

  • Harrison Timm - Champion


  • CeCe Bedore & Jack Nichol - 2nd

  • Olivia Dahlberg & Greta Homuth - Champions

Ex. Reading:

  • Seema Mustafa - 2nd

  • Kaylin Patrick - Champion

Great Speeches:

  • Martan Gregoire - Champion

  • Macy Larson - 3rd

  • Beth Stein - 2nd


  • Leif Carlson - 3rd

  • Anika Drees - 2nd

  • Maret Holm - Champion


  • Greta Cole - 2nd

  • Andrina Rockstad - 5th

  • Ingrid Rygg - Champion


  • India Carlson - 2nd

  • Grace Halvorson - Champion

  • Charlie Maki - 4th

  • Maya Weiler - 3rd


  • Amelia Bailly - 2nd

  • Thalia Christenson - 5th

  • Olivia Larson - Champion

  • Abby Von Bank - 4th


  • Ally Harvala -4th

  • Jordan Jensen - 3rd

  • Sophie Schulz - 5th

  • Colin Welna - Champion


  • Nona Harrison - 4th

  • Makenzie Stockwell - 2nd

Sections team announced, 41 Spuds look to defend 8AA, State Titles

MOORHEAD, Minn. - After the entire 2020 MSHSL postseason was canceled due to the pandemic, the Spuds will once again look to defend their Section 8AA and Class AA Titles over the next month. Moorhead has won 25 straight section team championships and all four Class AA MSHSL Team Sweepstakes Awards.

With no subsection tournament this year, entry numbers are limited for the section tournament. Teams are allowed no more than 39 total entries and five per event. Double entry is not allowed.

The 8AA Section Tournament will be held on Friday, April 9 with the MSHSL Class AA Tournament scheduled for Friday, April 23. Both contests will be hosted virtually.

Leading the Spuds is senior Stella Mehlhoff who is vying for her third State Medal. She earned 7th place in Duo in 2018 and 3rd place in Prose in 2019. If she reaches finals in Drama, she will become the twelfth Spud to earn three state medals and just the second to earn three medals in three different events (Krista Costin, 2002-04 in Prose, Drama, and Duo).

Senior Thalia Christenson is the only other Spud on the sections team with a state medal already secured. She took 6th place in Poetry in 2019 and will compete again in that event.

Three other Spuds hope to make their second State Tournament appearance: Seniors Grace Halvorson (Inform, 2018) and Lily Kjos (Creative, 2019) and junior Anika Drees (Humor, 2019).

2021 Sections Team


  • Molly Blanchard

  • Tate Horan

  • Ethan Larson

  • Emily Swenson


  • Carson Durand

  • Scout Holding Eagle-Bushaw

  • Olivia Kelly

  • Iris Ming


  • Lily Kjos

  • Stella Mehlhoff

  • Harrison Timm


  • CeCe Bedore & Jack Nichol

  • Olivia Dahlberg & Greta Homuth

Ex. Reading:

  • Seema Mustafa

  • Kaylin Patrick

Great Speeches:

  • Martan Gregoire

  • Macy Larson

  • Beth Stein


  • Leif Carlson

  • Anika Drees

  • Maret Holm


  • Greta Cole

  • Andrina Rockstad

  • Ingrid Rygg


  • India Carlson

  • Grace Halvorson

  • Charlie Maki

  • Maya Weiler


  • Amelia Bailly

  • Thalia Christenson

  • Olivia Larson

  • Abby Von Bank


  • Ally Harvala

  • Jordan Jensen

  • Sophie Schulz

  • Colin Welna


  • Nona Harrison

  • Chase Schmidt

  • Makenzie Stockwell

Top (L to R): Anika Drees, Martan Gregoire, Maya Weiler, Greta Cole, Jack Nichol, Harrison Timm, Charlie Maki.Middle (L to R): Olivia Dahlberg, Grace Halvorson, Ingrid Rygg, India Carlson, Abby Von Bank, CeCe Bedore.Bottom (L to R): Greta Homuth, Maret Holm, Thalia Christenson, Stella Mehlhoff, Lily Kjos, Colin Welna

Spuds send 17 to Nats in record-setting weekend

MOORHEAD, Minn. - On March 12, 2020, just eight days before the planned start of the Northern Lights Qualifier, the COVID-19 pandemic forced an abrupt halt to the speech season, cancelling the tournament and putting future competition in doubt.

Fast-forward 53 weeks to the day and the Spuds were once again suiting up in hopes of earning a spot at Nationals.

Speech has changed over the past 12 months. Bus rides and hotel stays are on hold, classrooms have become Zoom rooms, and 'tech checks' are now a vital part of the pre-round routine. But despite the differences, the feelings surrounding the district qualifier remained the same.

On Saturday, after two days of asynchronous competition, all 18 Spuds advanced and prepared for live elimination rounds as usual. There were warm up chants, pump up songs, and tech checks, of course.

And in a season unlike any before, Moorhead did something never done before: Six District Champions, 17 National Qualifiers, and 25 total Qualifier Plaques, a team record.

Seniors Stella Mehlhoff and Maret Holm won two events each and Thalia Christenson, Martan Gregoire, Anika Drees, Harrison Timm, Charlie Maki and Olivia Dahlberg all double qualified as the Spuds earned top Speech and Overall District Sweepstakes Titles for the fourth straight year. Mehlhoff, Holm, and auto-qualifier Grace Halvorson will all head to Nationals for the third time. Christenson, Gregoire, Homuth and Maki will make their second trip to Nats. The remaining entries are all making their first ever appearance at the National Tournament.

The 15 entries and 17 qualifiers are the most for Moorhead since 2016 when 19 Spuds advanced to Nationals in Salt Lake City. It is the largest Nationals Team since the Northern Lights District began allowing double entry in 2017.

The 2021 NSDA National Tournament will be held online June 13-19.

A full list of qualifiers is below.

The Spuds now turn their focus to the 8AA Section Tournament and defense of their 25 consecutive section titles. With no subsection tournament this year, the Spuds will announce its 39 entry roster on Monday. Sections will be held on April 9 with the MSHSL State AA Tournament on April 23. Moorhead is the four-time defending State AA Champion.

2021 NSDA Qualifiers and alternates


  • Stella Mehlhoff - Champion

  • Harrison Timm

  • Colin Welna

  • Lily Kjos


  • Harrison Timm & Charlie Maki - Champions (will compete in Drama and Oratory)

  • Thalia Christenson & Martan Gregoire (will compete in Inform and POI)

  • CeCe Bedore & Jack Nichol

  • Olivia Dahlberg & Greta Homuth


  • Maret Holm - Champion

  • Anika Drees (will compete in POI)

  • Olivia Dahlberg (will compete in Duo)


  • Maret Holm - Champion (will compete in Humor)

  • Ingrid Rygg

  • Thalia Christenson

  • Greta Cole


  • Stella Mehlhoff - Champion (will compete in Drama)

  • Grace Halvorson - Auto Qualifier (6th place at 2020 Nats)

  • Maya Weiler

  • Charlie Maki

  • India Carlson - Semifinalist


  • Anika Drees

  • Martan Gregoire

  • Abby Von Bank - First Alternate

The year began in a virtual format and will end the same at Nats '21, but come June the Spuds will log on, hopefully for the last time, in search of the final round stage.

The full Northern Lights NSDA District Awards Ceremony can be viewed here:

District Awards Ceremony 2021

Halvorson first to final in Oratory, Spuds earn highest NSDA distinction award

MOORHEAD, Minn. - More than 6,600 students from 1,322 schools across the country met, albeit virtually, for the largest NSDA National Tournament in history. By week's end, the Moorhead Speech and Debate Team earned the Association's highest honor and was named a School of Outstanding Distinction, awarded to the top ten schools in the country for overall speech and debate excellence.

Individually, junior Grace Halvorson led the Spuds.

In a message fitting for the times -- and the format -- she delivered a final round oratory calling for community and connection in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Her speech was one of thousands of recordings from around the country submitted to the tournament, held virtually due to COVID-19. Halvorson finished in 6th place, becoming the first Spud to reach an Oratory final round. She is the 12th finalist in team history.

Junior Maret Holm reached quarterfinals (Top 30) in Humor with her performance of "Fargo" while seven other Spuds broke to Octafinals (Top 60), matching a team record set in 2018.

A full list of participants is below.

Senior Public Forum Debaters Talia Williams and Lauren Melton also reached elimination rounds, becoming the first tandem to do so in program history. Their ten rounds of competition also tie a team record for deepest Nats run by a Moorhead debate entry (Daniel Otto - LD, 2000). Williams and Melton went 10-2 in prelims and won rounds seven and eight before bowing out in the top 50 out of nearly 300 entries.

2020 National Tournament Participants:


  • Ethan Crompton, junior - Octafinals

  • Jonah Hanson, senior - Octafinals

  • Stella Mehlhoff, junior - Octafinals


  • Jordan Jensen, sophomore & Greta Homuth, freshman


  • Maret Holm, junior - Quarterfinals


  • Anni Yoney, senior - Octafinals

  • Thalia Christenson, junior - Octafinals

International Extemp. Speaking:

  • Emma Pranger, junior - Octafinals


  • Grace Halvorson, junior - 6th Place (2021 Auto-Qual)


  • Greta Almlie, senior - Octafinals

  • Charlie Maki, sophomore

  • Martan Gregoire, sophomore

Poetry (Supplemental):

  • Thalia Christenson, junior - Octafinals

Prose (Supplemental):

  • Stella Mehlhoff, junior

Congress (House):

  • Scout Holding Eagle-Bushaw, sophomore

Full results can be found here.

Photo captions (From top to bottom):
Photo 1: Grace Halvorson during her Oratory "Minnesota Nice."
Photo 2: Top Row (From L to R): Jordan Jensen and Greta Homuth (inset), Charlie Maki, Ethan Crompton; Bottom Row (L to R): Anni Yoney, Thalia Christenson, Greta Almlie.
Photo 3: Top Row (L to R): Emma Pranger, Martan Gregoire; Middle Row (L to R): Maret Holm, Stella Mehlhoff; Bottom Row (L to R): Grace Halvorson, Jonah Hanson.
Photo 4: Talia Williams (left) and Lauren Melton.

Twelve Spuds qualify for online Nats, MSHSL season officially cancelled

MOORHEAD, Minn. - When the coronavirus pandemic brought the speech season to a sudden halt last month, students and coaches across the state were left to wait and wonder. Exactly six weeks after the NSDA postponed all district qualifier tournaments, answers finally arrived.

On Thursday, just moments after Gov. Tim Walz officially extended distance learning for the remainder of the school year, the MSHSL cancelled all spring activities, including the 2020 State Speech Tournament. For the nearly 20 Spud seniors and hundreds more across the state, it means an abrupt end to their careers as well. Moorhead will have to wait another year to defend their four consecutive state titles.

However, the season will continue for 12 speakers after the Northern Lights District announced their 2020 National qualifiers:

  • Drama: Jonah Hanson (1st), Ethan Crompton (4th)

  • Duo: Greta Almlie & Stella Mehlhoff (2nd)

  • Humor: Maret Holm (1st)

  • Inform: Anni Yoney (1st), Thalia Christenson (3rd)

  • IX: Emma Pranger (2nd)

  • Oratory: Grace Halvorson (1st), Zoe Stein (2nd)

  • POI: Charlie Maki (1st), Martan Gregoire (3rd)

The Spuds also won the District Speech and Overall Sweepstakes awards.

To qualify, district coaches submitted applications highlighting student season and career achievements. The district released an awards ceremony video (above) to announce the results.

The 2020 NSDA National Tournament will be held entirely online. More information about can be found here.

Nationals go online, fate of State still uncertain

MOORHEAD, Minn. - While the fate of the 2020 MSHSL State Tournament is still uncertain, the NSDA announced that the National Tournament, initially scheduled for mid-June in Albuquerque, NM, will be held entirely online with a hybrid of live and recorded performances.

As a result, districts around the country have developed alternative qualifying methods to determine Nationals participants in lieu of in-person tournaments.

The Spuds, along with other schools in the Northern Lights District, will submit applications to determine qualifiers. The full announcement of 2020 NSDA National Qualifiers will be made on Friday, April 24.

For more information about the Online National Tournament, CLICK HERE.

For the latest updates from the MSHSL, CLICK HERE.

Updated: Thursday, April 16

Speech season screeches to a halt amid COVID-19 concerns

MOORHEAD, Minn. - The global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has brought the 2020 speech season to an abrupt stop, just days before postseason competition was set to begin. The MSHSL has halted all contests and competitions until April 6, and classes, including all after-school activities and practices, are canceled through March 27. The NSDA has suspended all district tournaments until further notice.

The 2020 NIETOC Tournament has also been canceled. More information can be found here.

What this means for the MSHSL State Tournament and NSDA National Tournament is still unclear. Neither event has been officially canceled, although updates are expected in the coming weeks. The Spuds were scheduled to compete at the Northern Lights District Speech Qualifier next weekend. That tournament has been postponed while awaiting further directive from the national office. Additionally, the 8AA Section Tournament slated for March 27 is postponed.

Check back for updates. More information can also be found via the MSHSL and NSDA.

Updated: Sunday, March 15.

Novice Spuds have big day, propel team to sweeps title at Eastview

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - With more than 1300 entries representing 38 schools from around the state, the Spuds faced arguably their toughest test of the season thus far. And while several veteran speakers turned in another successful Saturday, it was the first and second year Spuds who led the charge, pacing Moorhead to a first place finish in team sweepstakes, their fourth invitational title this year.

Of the ten top-three finishes on the day, nine were captured in the Open Division, including tournament championships for Jaidyn Edwards (Storytelling), Olivia Larson (Poetry), Sophie Schulz (Drama), and Jordan Jensen & Greta Homuth (Duo). Jensen also took second place in Prose.

Chase Schmidt & Ethan Riley (Duo), Harrison Timm (Drama), and Mya Pfiefer (Poetry) also earned runner-up honors.

In the Championship Division, junior Maret Holm finished in second place in Humor, while senior Greta Almlie advanced to out-rounds in three events, finishing in 5th place in duo with partner Stella Mehlhoff; Almlie also took first place in the next-in final round of POI and Drama.

A full list of results can be found here and on our schedule/results page.

As the calendar flips to March, tournament season is now quickly approaching. Moorhead will split the squad one final time this weekend with speakers competing at Lakeville North and Shakopee, before one final tune-up at Eagan on March 13 ahead of the NSDA National Qualifier and Section 8AA Tournament later this month.

Above: Maret Holm with her third place trophy.Below: Finalist Maret Holm with semifinalists (From L to R): Stella Mehlhoff, Ethan Crompton, and Greta Almlie.

Holm takes third at Harvard, split-squad Spuds find success in Cambridge, Forest Lake

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - It was a breakout performance two years in the making. After competing nationally at GMU, Harvard, NIETOC, and the 2019 NSDA National Tournament last year, Junior Maret Holm once again advanced out of prelims and into elimination rounds.

Then, she broke into quarterfinals. Then semis. By late Sunday night, after seven rounds of competition stretching over two long days, Holm was left standing as one of six finalists out of 200 entries.

On Monday afternoon, Holm performed "Fargo" on the historic Sanders Theatre stage and kept alive a streak of Spuds speakers to reach final rounds at the Harvard Tournament. Her third place finish matches Anna Larson (Inform) and Margaret Dickey (Oratory) in 2019 and ties the top mark in program history.

Junior Ethan Crompton (Humor), and senior Greta Almlie & junior Stella Mehlhoff (Duo) advanced to the semifinals.

Senior Grant Gervais (Inform) and juniors Thalia Christenson (Inform) and Grace Halvorson (Oratory) all cracked the top 24 as well.

Meanwhile, 39 Spuds competed at Forest Lake and took home the team sweepstakes trophy. First place finishers include freshman Chase Schmidt (Storytelling), freshman Greta Homuth & sophomore Jordan Jensen (Duo), and senior Molly Hauf (Great Speeches). Anni Yoney (GS), Emiley Nelson (Storytelling) and Olivia Larson (Poetry) all earned runner-up honors.

The bus will now sit idle for a week as the Spuds host their annual invitational this Saturday. Rounds begin at 9am with final rounds, including the 10th annual Extemp. Musical Theatre National Championship, at approximately 2pm.

Crompton triple breaks, paces Spuds to sweepstakes win at East Ridge

WOODBURY, Minn. - Junior Ethan Crompton advanced to three final rounds, including his first top finish in Humor this season, as the Spuds narrowly edged Apple Valley for first place in team sweepstakes at the East Ridge Raptor Invitational last Saturday. In addition to winning in Humor, Crompton also took 4th place in Drama and 5th place in Duo with partner Ali Astrup.

Junior Thalia Christenson, one of 17 Spuds to reach varsity final rounds, earned top honors in Informative Speaking for her first career win at the varsity level.

In the novice division, Jordan Jensen & Greta Homuth took first place in Duo, while Kolton Doucette took first in Prose. In all, 51 entries competed in an elimination round.

A full list of results can be found here.

Looking ahead, the national travel team is back on the road this weekend, competing at the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, MA. Meanwhile, the Spuds will head to Forest Lake for an invitational on Saturday.

Live out-round announcements and awards will be shared on Twitter @Spudspeech.

From L-R: Molly Hauf, Zoe Stein, Jordan Jensen, Greta Almlie, Greta Homuth, Anni Yoney, Chelsea Bubbers, Jacob Rolle, Grace Halvorson

Nine Spuds pick up apples, team takes second place at Minneapple

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - Senior Chelsea Bubbers (Ex. Reading, 3rd place) and junior Grace Halvorson (Oratory, 3rd place) earned their second career apples and seven others picked up their first piece of marble hardware as the Spuds took home runner-up honors at the 2020 Minneapple Tournament.

Seniors Anni Yoney and Molly Hauf finished first and second, respectively, in Great Speeches, and Zoe Stein was named the champion in Original Oratory. Senior captain Greta Almlie finished in third place in POI. In the novice division, Jordan Jensen and Greta Homuth took first in Duo, while Jacob Rolle took top honors in Drama in his first tournament in that event.

Marble apples are awarded to the top three varsity finalists and the champion in the novice division.

In all, 19 speakers advanced to final rounds. Full results can be found here.

Next on the docket is a full-team trip to Woodbury and the East Ridge Raptor Invitational where the Spuds won the team sweepstakes award last season. Live results will be tweeted @Spudspeech starting Saturday afternoon with awards starting at 4pm.

Spuds snag team sweeps title in season opener

MARSHALL, Minn. - The 2020 season finally commenced last weekend as two busloads of Spuds made the trek to Marshall for the two-day Speech Spectacular Tournament. After seven rounds of competition, Moorhead took home the team sweepstakes championship for the second straight season.

Senior category captain Molly Hauf (Great Speeches) claimed first place for the second consecutive year. Cassidy Wendt (Prose), Greta Almlie (POI) and Zoe Stein (Oratory) all earned runner-up honors. In all, 13 Spuds reached final rounds and 30 advanced to semifinals.

Several novice speakers also had strong opening performances. Freshman storyteller Chase Schmidt advanced to varsity semifinals in his first career tournament. Duo partners Jordan Jensen and Greta Homuth also reached semifinals, while first-year speaker Olivia Dahlberg made it to quarterfinals in Humor.

Full results can be found here.

The Spuds will now split the squad ahead of next weekend's tournaments at Apple Valley and DGF. Four Spuds will vie for their second career marble apple, including Riley Stallman (Creative: Novice Champion, 2017), Sophie Schulz (Prose: Novice Champion, 2019), Chelsea Bubbers (Ex. Reading: 3rd place, 2019), and Grace Halvorson (Inform: 2nd place, 2019).

Above: The team poses for a photo at the Sunvitational in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.Below: Zoe Stein and Ethan Crompton with their final round awards.

From snow to sun, Spuds preparing for 2020 speech season

MOORHEAD, Minn. - The 2019 MSHSL season ended with a monster blizzard hammering most of Minnesota ahead of and during the state tournament. So it's fitting that another round of winter weather arrived just in time to thwart travel plans at the start of the 2020 season.

Many schools, including Moorhead, called off classes last Friday because of blizzard-like conditions, cancelling the first team trip to the metro. However, several Spuds have already competed on the national circuit and have found early success. Senior Zoe Stein (Oratory) and junior Ethan Crompton (Humor, Drama) both reached final rounds at the Sunvitational in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this month. Stein finished in 4th place in OO while Crompton took 3rd in Humor, both setting the mark for best finishes for Moorhead at the tournament and marking the first time multiple entries reached final rounds at the Sunvite. This is the third time Moorhead has attended the Sunvitational. Alex Church is the only other Spud to advance to finals; he took 6th place in Humor in 2016.

The full roster is now set to start the 2020 season with a two-day tournament at Marshall. Rounds begin Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday evening. Check our Twitter page @Spudspeech for updates throughout the weekend.

From L-R: Emma Pranger, Talia Williams, Lauren Melton

Three Spuds reach out-rounds at State Tourney

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - For the first time in program history, Moorhead advanced multiple entries beyond preliminary rounds at the MSHSL State Debate Tournament, finishing the weekend with three medalists. Senior Public Forum partners Talia Williams and Lauren Melton earned the 7th seed out of 23 entries and finished the tournament in the quarterfinal round (Top 8 overall), taking one of three ballots from the eventual state champions.

Junior Emma Pranger, in her first year competing in Congressional Debate, advanced to the four-hour Super Session finals and earned 8th place. There were 24 Congressional entries to start the tournament and only twelve reached finals.

All three debaters have also already qualified for the 2020 NSDA National Tournament, held this June in Albuquerque, NM. Williams and Melton will compete in Public Forum while Pranger, who won the district championship in the Senate, will also compete for a spot in Speech.

Senior captains (from left to right) Lauren Melton, Juli Hanson, and Talia Williams qualify for the NSDA National Tournament after taking third place at the Northern Lights Qualifier on Dec. 17-18.

Four debaters qualify to nationals with sections, state up next

MOORHEAD, Minn. - Senior captains Talia Williams, Lauren Melton, and Juli Hanson, as well as junior captain Emma Pranger, all earned bids to the 2020 NSDA National Tournament, capping another successful season of debate at MHS. Williams and Melton took third place in Public Forum, Hanson took third in Lincoln-Douglas, and Pranger won her Senate chamber to advance to Albuquerque in June.

Williams and Melton become the third PF team from MHS to qualify for nationals in the past three seasons. Hanson becomes the first Spud to qualify in LD in 20 years. Pranger, who qualified in International Extemp. Speaking last year, will also compete at the NSDA Speech Qualifier in March.

Pranger also earned a spot at the MSHSL State Debate Tournament in Congressional Debate. Williams, Melton, Hanson, and first-year debater Ben Dickey will try to join her at next weekend's section tournament.

Klindt, Larson reach semifinals, Spuds earn 7th straight NSDA Excellence Award

DALLAS, Tex. - Seniors Sophia Klindt (Humor) and Anna Larson (Informative) advanced to the semifinals and three more placed in the top 30, pacing the Spuds to their seventh consecutive Speech School of Excellence Award at the 2019 NSDA National Tournament. The honor is given to the top 20 schools in the nation.

Klindt finished in 11th place while Larson placed 7th. Larson also becomes just the seventh speaker in team history to reach out-rounds three times in one career; she reached octafinals in 2017 and took 4th place last season, all in Informative Speaking.

Margaret Dickey (Oratory) reached quarterfinals for the second straight year, while Katherine Leiseth and Jack Entzion (Duo) also finished their speech careers in the top 30.

Junior Anni Yoney (Inform) and sophomore Maret Holm (Humor) both advanced to octafinals (Top 60) in their first appearance at the national tournament.

In supplemental events, sophomore Grace Halvorson cracked the top 50 out of more than 300 entries in Prose, bowing out after six rounds. Senior Alyssa Haagenson reached the semifinal round in Storytelling and finished in 13th place.

In all, 15 Spuds competed at this year's tournament. Non-advancing speakers include seniors Dylan Stage (Drama) and Alyssa Haagenson (POI); Juniors Cassidy Wendt & Jonah Hanson (Duo) and Greta Almlie (Drama); and sophomores Grace Halvorson (Inform), Stella Mehlhoff (Drama), and Emma Pranger (International Extemp.).

Several Spuds reach top 30 at NIETOC, final tune up before Nationals

OMAHA, Neb. - Thirteen Spud speakers traveled to Omaha for the 2019 NIETOC tournament, a collective contest featuring many of the top competitors in the country. While Moorhead was shut out of the final rounds, the team did enjoy early success at the three day event, advancing a program best ten entries to the quarterfinal round (top 30). Senior Sophia Klindt (Humor) was the lone Spud to reach the semifinals (top 12) but just missed out on the final round cut. Senior Alex Seigel and sophomore Thalia Christenson became the first Spuds to compete in Duet Acting. They finished in the top 30 overall.

A full list of NIETOC competitors and results can be found below.

Fifteen speakers now look forward to the 2019 NSDA National Tournament, held June 17-21 in Dallas, Texas. Last season, three Moorhead speakers advanced to finals en route to the program's first overall team championship.


NIETOC Final Results:

  • Sophia Klindt (Humor) - Semifinals

  • Meghan Johnson (Drama) - Quarterfinals

  • Stella Mehlhoff (Drama) - Quarterfinals

  • Greta Almlie (Drama) - Octafinals

  • Cassidy Wendt & Jonah Hanson (Duo) - Octafinals

  • Greta Almlie & Sophia Klindt (Duo) - Quarterfinals

  • Katherine Leiseth & Jack Entzion (Duo) - Octafinals

  • Thalia Christenson & Alex Seigel (Duet Acting) - Quarterfinals

  • Maret Holm (Humor) - Quarterfinals

  • Grace Halvorson (Inform) - Quarterfinals

  • Meghan Johnson (Oratory) - Quarterfinals

  • Alyssa Haagenson (POI) - Quarterfinals

  • Alex Seigel (POI) - Quarterfinals

UnFOURgettable: Larson, Miller earn gold, Spuds claim fourth straight MSHSL Class AA Team Title

WAYZATA, Minn. - The week began with a change of plans. An April snowstorm crippled much of the state, shuttering schools and roads from Moorhead to the metro, forcing the Spuds to depart a day early for the MSHSL State Tournament to stay ahead of the weather.

The extra time together as a team seemed to pay off.

Seniors Anna Larson (Informative) and Neva Miller (Great Speeches) earned gold medals and twelve of their teammates reached finals as the Spuds claimed their fourth consecutive Class AA State Championship. It's the second time in three years that Moorhead has had a state champion in Informative and Great Speeches.

A full list of medalists and complete tournament results are below.

Seniors Sophia Klindt (Duo) and Katherine Leiseth (Ex. Reading) became the 9th and 10th Spuds to earn three state medals; Klindt and her duo partner Greta Almlie took third place while Leiseth finished sixth.

Sophomore Stella Mehlhoff (Prose) and seniors Alyssa Haagenson (Storytelling) and Margaret Dickey (Oratory) all finished in second place for their second career state medal. Almlie took third in duo for her second straight state medal.

Moorhead now has 25 state champions and 210 state medals in team history.

2019 MSHSL State Medalists:

  • 1st - Anna Larson (Informative)

  • 1st - Neva Miller (Great Speeches)

  • 2nd- Alyssa Haagenson (Storytelling)

  • 2nd - Margaret Dickey (Oratory)

  • 2nd - Stella Mehlhoff (Prose)

  • 3rd - Regan Hart (Creative)

  • 3rd - Molly Hauf (Great Speeches)

  • 3rd - Sophia Klindt & Greta Almlie (Duo)

  • 4th - Dylan Stage (Drama)

  • 6th - Katherine Leiseth (Ex. Reading)

  • 6th - Thalia Christenson (Poetry)

  • 8th - Cassidy Wendt & Jonah Hanson (Duo)

For full tournament results, click here.

Spuds win 25th straight section title, 23 speakers advance to state

WILLMAR, Minn. - For the 25th consecutive season, the Moorhead Spuds hoisted the Section 8AA team championship trophy as 23 speakers earned a spot at next Saturday's MSHSL State Tournament. Head Coach Rebecca Meyer-Larson was also named the 2019 Section 8AA Coach of the Year.

Four seniors advanced to state for the third time in their careers, joining an exclusive list of Spuds to earn the Triple Star Award. They include Anna Larson (2016, 2018, 2019 in Inform), Katherine Leiseth (2017, 2018, 2019 in Ex. Reading), Sophia Klindt (2017, 2018 in Humor; 2019 in Duo), and Dylan Stage (2017 in Prose; 2018, 2019 in Drama).

Ten additional speakers will make their second straight appearance at the state tournament: Greta Almlie (Duo), Stella Mehlhoff (Prose), Neva Miller (Great Speeches), Molly Hauf (Great Speeches), Jonah Hanson (Duo), Cassidy Wendt (Duo), Emma Pranger (Ex. Speaking), Margaret Dickey (Oratory), Meghan Johnson (Drama), and Alex Seigel (Storytelling).

The full list of qualifiers and alternates is below.

With 21 entries, the Spuds will have the second-largest team at this year's state tournament. This is also the third straight year Moorhead has advanced at least 20 speakers to state with at least one entry in each event. Moorhead is vying for its fourth straight Class AA state title.

The MSHSL State Tournament is next Saturday, April 13 at Wayzata High School. A full program, including round assignments and schedules, will be posted early next week.

2019 Section 8AA Qualifiers and Alternates:


  • Regan Hart - 1st

  • Riley Stallman - 2nd

  • Lily Kjos - 3rd


  • Beth Teiken - 2nd

  • Sydney Anderson - 5th


  • Dylan Stage - 1st

  • Meghan Johnson - 2nd

  • Keegan Lee - 5th


  • Greta Almlie & Sophia Klindt - 1st

  • Cassidy Wendt & Jonah Hanson - 2nd

  • Sophie Schulz & Charlie Maki - 4th

Ex. Reading:

  • Katherine Leiseth - 2nd

  • Chelsea Bubbers - 4th

Ex. Speaking:

  • Emma Pranger - 1st

  • Lauren Melton - 5th

Great Speeches:

  • Neva Miller - 2nd

  • Molly Hauf - 3rd

  • Hanna Leiseth - 4th

  • Emma McFeely - 5th


  • Anika Drees - 3rd


  • Anna Larson - 3rd

  • Anni Yoney - 4th

  • Grace Halvorson - 6th


  • Margaret Dickey - 2nd

  • Zoe Stein - 3rd

  • Lydia Horan - 4th

  • Maria Dimo - 5th

  • Maren Twedt - 6th


  • Thalia Christenson - 2nd

  • Mya Pfiefer - 3rd

  • Alexa Girard - 6th


  • Stella Mehlhoff - 1st

  • Jordan Jensen - 4th

  • Lauren duCharme - 5th


  • Alex Seigel - 1st

  • Alyssa Haagenson - 3rd

  • Makenzie Stockwell - 4th

'Shut up and Say Something' showcase set for April 1 at 7pm

MOORHEAD, Minn. - Join us on Monday, April 1 at 7pm for the annual Speech Showcase "Shut up and Say Something." The program includes speeches from all team members and features special, full-length performances from several senior speakers who will represent the team and state at the NSDA National Tournament. An intermission with an assortment of tasty desserts will be provided.

If you go:

  • WHAT: Annual Speech Showcase

  • WHERE: MHS Auditorium

  • WHEN: Monday, April 1 at 7pm

Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission prices are $6 for students and $8 for adults.

Spuds take the North, 54 speakers advance to sections

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - A team record 50 entries and 54 students earned a spot at Thursday's 8AA Section Tournament after placing in the top six at last night's North Subsection meet. Moorhead took home ten of the 13 first place titles and will send at least three speakers in each event. The full list of section qualifiers is below.

The Spuds are vying for their 25th consecutive 8AA section title. Round one starts at 4:15 pm at Willmar High School with final rounds starting around 7pm. All results and a live stream of the awards ceremony can be found on Twitter @Spudspeech.


Advancing to 8AA Sections (with subsection place):


  • Regan Hart - 1st

  • Riley Stallman - 2nd

  • Lilly Kjos - 4th


  • Jack Eisenzimmer - 1st

  • Beth Teiken - 2nd

  • Sydney Anderson - 4th

  • Scout Holding Eagle-Bushaw - 5th


  • Meghan Johnson - 1st

  • Dylan Stage - 2nd

  • Harrison Timm- 3rd

  • Keegan Lee - 4th


  • Greta Almlie & Sophia Klindt - 1st

  • Jonah Hanson & Cassidy Wendt - 2nd

  • Ali Astrup & Taylor Qualey - 3rd

  • Sophie Schulz & Charlie Maki - 4th

Ex. Reading:

  • Katherine Leiseth - 1st

  • Chelsea Bubbers - 2nd

  • Beth Stein - 3rd

Ex. Speaking:

  • Lauren Melton - 3rd

  • Grant Gervais - 4th

  • Emma Pranger - 5th

Great Speeches:

  • Molly Hauf - 2nd

  • Emma McFeely - 3rd

  • Neva Miller - 4th

  • Hannah Leiseth - 5th


  • Maret Holm - 1st

  • Ethan Crompton - 2nd

  • Wissam Amin - 4th

  • Anika Drees - 5th


  • Anna Larson - 1st

  • Grace Halvorson - 2nd

  • Anni Yoney -3rd

  • Greta Cole - 4th

  • Jack Entzion - 5th


  • Margaret Dickey -1st

  • Zoe Stein - 2nd

  • Lydia Horan - 3rd

  • Maria Dimo - 4th

  • Maren Twedt - 5th


  • Alexa Girard - 2nd

  • Katie Staiger - 3rd

  • Thalia Christenson - 4th

  • Mya Pfiefer - 6th


  • Stella Mehlhoff - 1st

  • Jordan Jensen - 2nd

  • Lauren duCharme - 3rd


  • Alyssa Haagenson - 1st

  • Alex Seigel - 2nd

  • Makenzie Stockwell - 3rd

  • Emiley Nelson - 4th

Spuds swarm Tech in final regular season tune-up; Subsection roster announced

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The 2019 invitational season came to a close on Saturday as the Spuds earned nine first place finishes en route to a team sweepstakes championship. Senior Margaret Dickey led all speakers with three category wins, including her third straight victory in Drama, third win of the season in Oratory, and first top finish in Duo with partner Jack Entzion; Entzion also took third place in Informative. Alyssa Haagenson (Storytelling), Amelia Bjorklund (Poetry), Anna Larson (Informative), Molly Hauf (Great Speeches), Riley Stallman (Creative) and Ethan Crompton (Impromptu) also took home first place awards. Runners-up include Alex Seigel (Storytelling), Grace Halvorson (Informative), Greta Almlie (Prose), Katherine Leiseth (Ex. Reading), Meghan Johnson (Drama, Oratory), Neva Miller (Great Speeches), and Sydney Anderson (Discussion). In all, Moorhead advanced 46 entries to final rounds.

The Spuds now turn to the postseason and the start of their three-time state championship title defense. The road to state starts on Thursday with the 8AA North Subsection Tournament in Fergus Falls. MSHSL rules only allow for 52 entries and no speaker can compete in more than one event. The following speakers will represent Moorhead at this year's subsection tournament:

Creative Expression:

  • Regan Hart

  • Riley Stallman

  • Lily Kjos


  • Beth Teiken

  • Sydney Anderson

  • Scout Holding Eagle-Bushaw

  • Jack Eisenzimmer


  • Harrison Timm

  • Meghan Johnson

  • Dylan Stage

  • Keegan Lee


  • Taylor Qualey & Ali Astrup

  • Greta Almlie & Sophia Klindt

  • Jonah Hanson & Cassidy Wendt

  • Sophie Schulz & Charlie Maki

Ex. Reading:

  • Chelsea Bubbers

  • Katherine Leiseth

  • Beth Stein

Ex. Speaking:

  • Grant Gervais

  • Emma Pranger

  • Lauren Melton

  • Jasmine Thayer

Great Speeches:

  • Hannah Leiseth

  • Molly Hauf

  • Emma McFeely

  • Neva Miller


  • Maret Holm

  • Ethan Crompton

  • Anika Drees

  • Wissam Amin


  • Greta Cole

  • Anni Yoney

  • Anna Larson

  • Jack Entzion

  • Grace Halvorson


  • Zoe Stein

  • Lydia Horan

  • Maren Twedt

  • Maria Dimo

  • Margaret Dickey


  • Amelia Bjorklund

  • Katie Staiger

  • Thalia Christenson

  • Mya Pfiefer

  • Alexa Girard


  • Jordan Jensen

  • Stella Mehlhoff

  • Lauren duCharme


  • Emiley Nelson

  • Alex Seigel

  • Makenzie Stockwell

  • Alyssa Haagenson

After three rounds of competition at subsections, the top six speakers in each category will advance to the 8AA Section Tournament on Thursday, April 4 in Willmar. There, the top three entries in each event advance to the MSHSL State Tournament, held this year on Saturday, April 13 at Wayzata High School. The Spuds are vying for their 25th consecutive section championship.

Pictured from left to right: Front Row: Sophia Klindt, Emma Pranger, Stella Mehlhoff, Maret Holm, Grace Halvorson, Cassidy Wendt. Back Row: Greta Almlie, Dylan Stage, Alyssa Haagenson, Margaret Dickey, Katherine Leiseth, Jack Entzion, Anna Larson, Jonah Hanson.

14 Spuds punch tickets to Nationals; Dickey, Klindt win two events each

WALKER, Minn. - Seniors Margaret Dickey (Oratory, Drama) and Sophia Klindt (Humor, Duo) each won two events at this weekend's NSDA National Qualifier in Walker and 14 Spuds qualified for the 2019 NSDA National Tournament in Dallas, TX. The full list of qualifiers is below.

This is Klindt's third consecutive trip to Nationals; she competed in Duo in 2017 and in Humor last year. Auto-qualifier Anna Larson will also advance for the third straight season, all in Informative. Dickey, Jack Entzion (Duo), Dylan Stage (Drama), and Alyssa Haagenson (POI) all earned their second consecutive NSDA qualification. Stage and Haagenson are returning in the same events while Entzion competed in Public Forum last year. The remaining entries are all making their first ever appearance at the National Tournament.

Moorhead once again won the top speech school trophy and repeated as overall Northern Lights District champions, combining speech and debate results.

The 12 entries and 14 qualifiers are the most for Moorhead since 2016 when 19 Spuds advanced to Nationals in Salt Lake City.

The Spuds now turn their focus to the final regular season tournament of the year in St. Cloud this Saturday. The MSHSL postseason begins the following Thursday with the 8AA North Subsection Tournament in Fergus Falls.

2019 NSDA Qualifiers and alternates


  • Margaret Dickey (Will compete in Oratory)

  • Greta Almlie

  • Dylan Stage

  • Stella Mehlhoff


  • Sophia Klindt (Will compete in Humor) & Greta Almlie (Will compete in Drama)

  • Katherine Leiseth & Jack Entzion

  • Cassidy Wendt & Jonah Hanson

  • Ali Astrup & Taylor Qualey (first alternate)


  • Sophia Klindt

  • Maret Holm


  • Grace Halvorson

  • Anna Larson (Auto-Qualification)

  • Lauren duCharme (first alternate)

  • Anni Yoney (second alternate)

International Ex. Speaking:

  • Emma Pranger

US Ex. Speaking:

  • Grant Gervais (third alternate)


  • Margaret Dickey

  • Zoe Stein (third alternate)


  • Alyssa Haagenson

  • Alex Seigel (second alternate)

Spuds brave the snow, snag first at Eagan; Nat Quals team announced

EAGAN, Minn. - A March snowstorm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on much of the state stranded the Spuds in the cities for an extra night, but the team wasn't complaining after taking first place at Saturday's competitive and time-efficient tournament at Eagan HS. Led by top finishes in Drama (Margaret Dickey), Prose (Stella Mehlhoff), and International Extemp. (Emma Pranger), Moorhead took home their fifth sweepstakes championship of the season. Nineteen other entries advanced to finals and an additional 14 competed in the next-in finals, rounding out a successful day of competition.

The Spuds now turn to the postseason beginning Friday with the NSDA Northern Lights District National Qualifier. Representing Moorhead are the following speakers:

  • Drama: Margaret Dickey, Stella Mehlhoff, Dylan Stage, and Greta Almlie

  • Duo: Jack Entzion & Katherine Leiseth, Ali Astrup & Taylor Qualey, Jonah Hanson & Cassidy Wendt, and Sophia Klindt & Greta Almlie

  • Humor: Sophia Klindt, Ali Astrup, Maret Holm, and Ethan Crompton

  • Ex. Speaking: Emma Pranger (IX), Lauren Melton (IX), and Grant Gervais (USX)

  • Inform: Anni Yoney, Grace Halvorson, Greta Cole, and Lauren duCharme

  • Oratory: Margaret Dickey, Meghan Johnson, Maria Dimo, and Zoe Stein

  • POI: Anni Yoney, Alex Seigel, Alexa Girard, and Alyssa Haagenson

*All speakers are required to meet after school Monday-Wednesday in preparation for the tournament.

Several Spuds will look to return to Nationals for the second straight year, including seniors Margaret Dickey (DI), Jack Entzion (Public Forum), Dylan Stage (DI), Meghan Johnson (OO), and Alyssa Haagenson (POI). Senior Sophia Klindt is vying for her third straight trip to Nationals. She advanced in Duo in 2017 and in Humor last season. Senior Anna Larson has already earned an auto-qualification to Nationals after taking fourth place at last year's NSDA Tournament. It will be her third straight appearance at Nationals, all in Informative speaking.

Top honors for Dickey at Lakeville, Spuds take first in Walker

LAKEVILLE, Minn. - Senior Margaret Dickey took home top honors in Oratory, placed fourth in Duo with partner Jack Entzion, and reached semifinals in Drama, en route to an individual sweepstakes championship at Lakeville North on Saturday, pacing a smaller Spuds squad to a fourth place team finish. Senior Katherine Leiseth won in Ex. Reading for the second time in three weeks and five others reached the final round for Moorhead, including Molly Hauf (2nd, Great Speeches), Alyssa Haagenson (2nd, Storytelling), Chelsea Bubbers (3rd, Ex. Reading), Regan Hart (5th, Creative), and Stella Mehlhoff (5th, Prose). In all, nearly half of Moorhead's 60 entries advanced to semifinals in one of the most competitive tournaments of the season. Additionally, four speakers also earned their second NIETOC bid and have qualified for that tournament: Cassidy Wendt (Drama), Wendt and Jonah Hanson (Duo), Greta Almlie (Drama) and Ali Astrup (Humor).

At the other end of the state, a host of first and second year Spuds won the team sweepstakes trophy at the annual Chuck Beckman Tournament in Walker. Led by Abigail Von Bank's third win of the season in Poetry, 15 Spuds reached finals and an additional 14 competed in next-in final rounds, capping Moorhead's seventh straight team championship at the Walker tournament.

The Spuds now turn toward a tough March schedule that begins this weekend at the Eagan Wildcat Invitational. The following week, several speakers will return to Walker for the 2019 NSDA National Qualifier tournament. A trip to St. Cloud Tech and the 8AA Subsection tournament in Fergus Falls rounds out a busy month for the team.

Dickey, Larson take third place at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Seniors Margaret Dickey (Oratory) and Anna Larson (Informative) each took third place at last weekend's Harvard Speech Invitational and Meghan Johnson (Oratory) advanced to semifinals as the Spuds enjoyed a successful three days of competition in Cambridge. In all, eleven speakers comprised 18 entries with eleven reaching out-rounds. Sophomore Stella Mehlhoff advanced to Double-Octofinals in both Drama and Oratory and senior Jack Entzion advanced to Octofinals in Informative and Duo with Dickey as his partner; Dickey also reached Double-Octofinals in Drama and Larson made it to Octofinals in POI.

Other Spuds to reach out-rounds include seniors Alex Seigel (POI) and Dylan Stage (Drama).

The Spuds stay home this weekend as they host their invitational tournament which includes the 9th annual edition of Extemporaneous Musical Theatre. Rounds begin at 9:30 am with awards scheduled for 4 pm.

Eight Spuds take first place at Eastview Lightning Classic

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - Sophomore Ethan Crompton led all Spuds with two top finishes (Creative, Humor) in the open division and seven of his teammates also took home first place as a smaller but strong Spud squad earned a second place team finish at this weekend's speech tournament at Eastview High School. Junior Molly Hauf won her second varsity Great Speeches final round of the season with category cohort Neva Miller finishing in second place. Sophia Klindt and Greta Almlie won the first varsity duo trophy for the team this year, and Katherine Leiseth earned a first place finish in Ex. Reading. In the open division, Makenzie Stockwell (Storytelling), Maria Dimo (Oratory), and Thalia Christenson (Poetry) all took top honors.

The Spuds were well represented in finals in both divisions as 25 entries advanced. Another 16 made it to an honor final round.

Meanwhile, eleven Spuds continue their long weekend of competition at the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge. Preliminary rounds wrap up on Sunday with breaks announcements scheduled for late morning. Updates can be found all weekend via Twitter @SpudSpeech.

Spuds brave the cold, heat up at East Ridge Invitational

WOODBURY, Minn. - Wind chills dipping below -40 and a bus breakdown weren't enough to deter the Spud speakers last weekend as the team delivered a dominating performance at the East Ridge Invitational. Moorhead took home top team honors for the second time in three weeks as a season-high 44 entries reached a novice or varsity final round. Senior Margaret Dickey led all Spuds with three final round appearances; she finished in 4th place in both Drama and Duo with partner Jack Entzion and in 5th place in Oratory. Senior Alyssa Haagenson earned first place in Storytelling and sophomore Grace Halvorson took first place in Informative, her first top finish in varsity in her young career.

Leading the novices was freshman Anika Drees who took first place in both Humor and Duo with partner Jordan Jensen. Martan Gregoire also took first place in novice Informative with teammate Lauren duCharme finishing in second place. Abigail Von Bank (Poetry) and Sophie Schulz (Prose) also earned first place in the novice division.

The week ahead once again splits the team as eleven speakers will travel to Cambridge for the annual Harvard Speech Tournament. Meanwhile, the remaining squad will make the trek back to the metro for the Eastview Lightning Classic in Apple Valley. Both tournaments begin Saturday morning and will be updated all weekend on Twitter @SpudSpeech.

Six Spuds snag apples, Team takes third place at Minneapple Tourney

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - Senior Margaret Dickey (Oratory) earned her second coveted marble apple trophy and five others brought home their first as the Moorhead Spuds placed third at the Apple Valley Minneapple Tournament. Billed as the largest tournament on the circuit this season, the Minneapple boasted top competitors from across the nation vying for apples in 14 categories; the top three varsity finishers and novice champion were awarded apples this season.

Senior Alex Seigel took home top honors in Storytelling one week after finishing in second place to teammate Alyssa Haagenson; seniors Neva Miller (2nd, Great Speeches) and Chelsea Bubbers (3rd, Ex. Reading), and sophomore Grace Halvorson (2nd, Inform) also earned apples, as did freshman Sophie Schulz (1st, Prose) in the novice division.

Of the 67 Moorhead entries, 18 advanced to varsity semifinals; eight made it to varsity finals and an additional eight advanced to finals in the novice division. Senior Sophia Klindt appeared in two final rounds, taking 4th place in humor and 5th place in duo with partner Greta Almlie.

The rest of the squad competed at the DGF Tournament and took home first place in team sweepstakes. First-year speakers Annika Drees (1st, Humor) and Ingrid Rygg (1st, Inform) led the team; in all, 23 Spuds earned finalist honors.

Next up, the full team heads to Woodbury for the East Ridge Raptor Invitational. The Spuds have placed in the top three in team sweeps each of the last four years.

At full strength, Spuds take team sweeps at Marshall Spectacular

MARSHALL, Minn. - Seventy-four Spuds suited up for the two-day Marshall Speech Spectacular last weekend, and behind first place varsity finishes from senior Alyssa Haagenson (Storytelling) and junior Molly Hauf (Great Speeches) Moorhead outpaced the competition for their first invitational championship of the young season. Haagenson also took 6th place in POI. In all, 23 entries advanced to the varsity semifinals and eleven competed in finals. The Spuds scored 477 sweepstakes points, 90 more than the runners up; it's the sixth consecutive season the team has finished in the top two.

Varsity finalists include Regan Hart (3rd, Creative), Chelsea Bubbers (2nd, Ex. Reading), Alexa Girard (3rd, Ex. Reading & 4th, Poetry), Katherine Leiseth (4th, Ex. Reading), Neva Miller (5th, Great Speeches), Grace Halvorson (4th, Inform), and Alex Seigel (2nd, Storytelling). Varsity semifinalists (top 12) include Riley Stallman (Creative), Jack Eisenzimmer (Discussion), Margaret Dickey & Jack Entzion (Duo), Sophia Klindt (Humor), Anna Larson (Inform and POI), Amelia Bjorklund (Poetry), Abigail Von Bank (Poetry), Katie Staiger (Poetry), Stella Mehlhoff (Prose), and Jonah Hanson (Prose); Dickey also reached semifinals in Oratory.

The Spuds now prepare for a trip to Apple Valley and the Minneapple Speech Tournament. Last season, the team brought home six marble apples (awarded to the top three in varsity finals and novice champions). Previous apple recipients competing next weekend include Margaret Dickey, Riley Stallman, and Alyssa Haagenson.

Spuds finish debate season at state, start speech season at Chanhassen

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Junior Congressional Debater Claire Stoltenow advanced to the Super Congress final session at the 2019 MSHSL Debate Tournament and finished in 9th place as the Spuds Debate Team wrapped up their second season back on the circuit. It's the first out-round appearance for Moorhead at State since Mia Bennitto & Michelle Stanley made it to the Policy semifinals in 2007. Senior Beth Teiken (Congress) and juniors Talia Williams & Tate Gilbertson (Public Forum) also competed at the two-day event, held last weekend at the University of Minnesota. Full results can be found on the team schedule page.

Meanwhile, the Spuds Speech Team opened their season and defense of their three straight state team championships at Chanhassen HS with several speakers placing in final rounds. Leading the way in varsity were seniors Margaret Dickey (2nd, Oratory), Neva Miller (3rd, Great Speeches), Sophia Klindt (3rd, Humor) and Anna Larson (3rd, Inform), and sophomores Stella Mehlhoff (2nd, Prose) and Makenzie Stockwell (6th, Storytelling). First-year speaker Abigail Von Bank took first place in Novice Poetry in her first tournament and was one of two dozen Spuds competing at their first ever speech tournament.

While the debate season has come to a close, the speech season is just getting started. The team will next travel to Marshall for a two-day tournament beginning Friday afternoon.

Williams, Gilbertson qualify for State in Public Forum

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Juniors Talia Williams and Tate Gilbertson finished with a record of 4-2 in Public Forum at Saturday's MSHSL Section 5 Debate Tournament at Edison HS in Minneapolis, taking 5th place overall and earning a spot at next weekend's MSHSL State Tournament. They become the first Spuds to qualify for state in Public Forum in team history (the event was added in 2013). The duo successfully argued for and against the resolution: The US federal government should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth. This was the first appearance at sections for Williams; Gilbertson finished in 9th place with PF partner Jack Entzion last season. The top 24 PF Debaters in Minnesota qualify for the state tournament.

First-year debaters Zoe Stein and Grant Gervais (Public Forum) and Iris Ming (Lincoln-Douglas), and second-year debater Juli Hanson (Lincoln-Douglas) also competed at the section tournament. Each debater finished with three wins and placed in the top ten in their events.

Williams and Gilbertson will join teammates Claire Stoltenow and Beth Teiken at State; the two qualified in Congressional Debate at last month's section tournament. The three entries and four debaters are the most in a single season in program history.

The 2019 MSHSL State Debate Tournament begins Friday, Jan. 18 in Blegen Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Competition continues on Jan. 19 with the top eight debaters in Public Forum advancing to a single-elimination bracket; the top twelve in Congress advance to the super session. Awards are scheduled for 5:30 Saturday evening. More information can be found here.

Stoltenow, Teiken advance to State, Debaters prepare for Quals, Speech hits the road to start season

EAGAN, Minn. - Junior Claire Stoltenow finished in second place at last weekend's MSHSL Section Congress tournament and senior Beth Teiken earned an at-large bid as both debaters qualified to next month's state tournament, held Jan. 18-19 at the University of Minnesota. Stoltenow will make her second straight appearance at the MSHSL State Debate tournament while Teiken advances for the first time. In all, only 24 congressional debaters in the state qualified, and Moorhead is just one of six schools to send both of their entries to state.

Five other debaters competed at the JV/Novice State Tournament also held at Eagan HS; junior Public Forum debaters Zoe Stein and Tate Gilbertson advanced to the round of 16 and finished with a 4-3 record.

Four debaters joined six members of the speech team for a national circuit tournament held at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Juniors Talia Williams and Lauren Melton advanced to day two of the competition in Public Forum, finishing the weekend with a 3-3 record. Senior Jack Entzion, who also competed in Informative speaking, partnered in Public Forum with junior Grant Gervais, who also performed in Duo with junior Jonah Hanson. The team finished 2-3 and just missed the cut to the top 64.

Senior Margaret Dickey (Drama, Oratory) made it to the quarterfinal round in Oratory and sophomore Maret Holm (Humor, Oratory) also advanced to the top 24 in Humor. Seniors Alex Seigel (Humor, POI) and Regan Hart (Humor, POI), and sophomore Stella Mehlhoff (POI) also competed in their first tournament of the season.

The debate team now prepares for the NSDA National Qualifier held next Tuesday and Wednesday at St. Francis HS. Last season, Moorhead sent two Public Forum teams to Nationals. The speech team will return to competition in January. Auditions for the 2019 team are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 18-20. The Spuds are three-time defending MSHSL State Speech Champions and also reigning NSDA Team Champions, winning the Bruno E. Jacobs award last June in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Destination Dallas: Stoltenow takes Congress Crown

Nov. 15, 2018

ST. PAUL - MHS junior Claire Stoltenow took top honors at Wednesday's Northern Lights National Congress Qualifier, earning a spot at the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament next June in Dallas, TX. Stoltenow, in her second year of debate and third year of forensics, becomes the first Spud to qualify in Congress since 2004. This will be Stoltenow's second straight nationals appearance; last June in Ft. Lauderdale, she advanced to the top 60 in International Extemp. Speaking.

Yesterday's qualifier was held at the State Capitol in St. Paul in conjunction with the Central and Southern Minnesota districts; in all, more than 200 debaters competed.

Next month, twelve Moorhead debaters will compete at the Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas National Qualifier. The two-day tournament begins on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at St. Francis High School. The top two entries from each division will earn a spot at nationals.

Welcome to the new Spudspeech.org

Our team has grown. And so has our website. The new Spudspeech.org is now optimized for mobile and tablet browsing. Please take a moment to check out our updated pages for new photos, a streamlined speech and debate tournament calendar, and comprehensive team records.

News Archive

Debate auditions to be held Friday, Sept. 7 — Aug 14, 2018 7:12:15 PM

Spuds win national title, three reach final round stage — Jun 24, 2018 11:12:22 PM

Grollman takes 4th, Spuds shine at NIETOC — May 13, 2018 6:22:21 PM

Larson makes history, Spuds three-peat at State — Apr 21, 2018 5:54:30 AM

State Speech Preview — Apr 18, 2018 4:13:45 PM

Champs again: Spuds take title, set team record — Apr 13, 2018 7:09:02 AM

Spuds take the North, advance to sections — Apr 6, 2018 12:01:07 PM

Spuds topple Tech, prep for the postseason — Mar 26, 2018 1:29:43 AM

Sweet 16: Spuds punch tickets to Nationals — Mar 20, 2018 7:00:04 PM

NSDA Point Verification — Jan 9, 2018 9:56:20 PM

Speech Roster Announcement — Dec 23, 2017 8:18:39 PM

First to Florida: Spuds send four debaters to Nationals — Dec 21, 2017 5:26:35 PM

2018 Speech Interview, Audition dates set — Dec 7, 2017 3:27:06 AM

Debate Auditions to be held Monday, Sept. 11 — Sep 7, 2017 12:57:16 AM

Debate Audition Information — Aug 18, 2017 6:44:53 PM

Public Forum Topic for Sept. & Oct. Announced — Aug 11, 2017 8:43:21 PM

Spuds cap 2017 season with success in Birmingham — Jun 27, 2017 5:52:00 PM

Six Spuds snag gold; Moorhead repeats as State Champs — Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 PM

Rummage Sale Canceled — Apr 20, 2017 1:18:42 PM

State Tournament Preview — Apr 17, 2017 7:12:05 PM

A flood of Spuds: Moorhead sends 26 to State — Apr 7, 2017 2:43:25 PM

Spuds sweep subs, send 49 to sections — Mar 31, 2017 2:47:55 PM

Spuds take Tech, announce postseason roster — Mar 27, 2017 9:42:06 PM

The North heads South: Spuds to send 12 to Nationals — Mar 19, 2017 8:02:26 PM

Spuds take first in metro finale, prep for Nat Quals — Mar 13, 2017 7:14:38 PM

Split squad earns top honors at Walker, Lakeville North — Mar 5, 2017 5:28:57 PM

Harvard finals sees Spuds for first time — Feb 23, 2017 11:26:43 PM

Spuds take second at East Ridge — Feb 12, 2017 9:19:50 PM

Spuds win Minneapple for second straight year — Feb 5, 2017 6:20:28 PM

Spuds claim nine individual titles, place 2nd at Marshall — Jan 30, 2017 6:01:11 PM

Spuds split squads, head to Marshall, Fergus Falls — Jan 27, 2017 4:03:32 PM

2017 roster, captains announced — Dec 14, 2016 10:52:12 PM

Six speakers start season in Iowa — Dec 14, 2016 2:11:06 PM

Roster announcement coming Wednesday night — Dec 14, 2016 2:41:15 AM

2017 season auditions set for Dec. 6 & 8 — Dec 3, 2016 4:49:46 AM

Spuds kickoff new fundraiser on #GivingTuesday — Nov 29, 2016 2:21:40 AM

Schulz, Spuds cap record season in Salt Lake — Jun 20, 2016 9:26:21 PM

Klostriech, Mullally place at NIETOC — May 16, 2016 2:15:58 PM

Five Spuds to speak at NIETOC in Denver — May 11, 2016 4:37:58 PM

Elite honors bring tough choices for Moorhead's McManamon — May 6, 2016 3:22:26 PM

Spuds honored, present at 1 Million Cups Fargo — Apr 20, 2016 4:33:46 PM

Spuds strike gold, win inaugural state title — Apr 17, 2016 5:36:32 PM

State Tournament Preview — Apr 13, 2016 4:17:37 PM

Top Taters Again: Spuds win sections for 22nd straight season — Apr 8, 2016 4:09:23 PM

Spuds send 47 to sections — Apr 1, 2016 3:35:13 PM

Subsection team announced — Mar 22, 2016 6:18:12 PM

Coming up roses: Moorhead takes first in final regular season tourney — Mar 20, 2016 10:00:50 PM

Northern Lights out: Spuds qualify 19 for nationals — Mar 13, 2016 3:05:05 PM

Moorhead lands one-two punch, preps for NSDA Qualifier — Mar 8, 2016 1:15:30 AM

Spuds shine at home invite, prepare for March run to Nats, State — Feb 29, 2016 1:06:40 AM

Spuds prep for lone home tourney of the season — Feb 24, 2016 4:49:56 PM

Spuds snag second place at Eastview — Feb 21, 2016 3:08:39 AM

Split Spuds show team depth at Harvard, East Ridge — Feb 18, 2016 5:26:59 PM

Spuds go back-to-back in first ever Minneapple win — Feb 9, 2016 12:41:02 AM

Spuds win Marshall Spectacular, six take individual titles — Jan 31, 2016 5:25:47 PM

Marshall, Fergus Falls next up for Spuds Speakers — Jan 29, 2016 6:40:14 PM

Support Spuds Speech — Jan 28, 2016 8:12:41 PM

Sunvitational 2016 — Jan 8, 2016 11:01:23 PM

Novice auditions Dec. 15 & 17, camp Dec. 18 & 28 — Dec 11, 2015 1:25:32 AM

Meeting Thursday after school — Dec 8, 2015 5:42:08 PM

2015-16 Schedule Set — Oct 5, 2015 1:41:51 AM

Nats 15 Recap — Jun 22, 2015 8:48:29 PM

Team record book now online — Jun 11, 2015 3:57:55 PM

Welcome to the new SpudSpeech.org! — May 19, 2015 5:11:22 PM