Six Spuds snag gold; Moorhead repeats as State Champs

Post date: Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 PM

For the Spuds, the MSHSL State Tournament represented the final leg of a long journey, one that spanned 16 competitions in three states over the past five months and covered more than 7,000 miles on the road and in the air.

On Friday, the long road traveled led to Apple Valley where 28 Spud speakers suited up one last time. The day began as a celebration for a successful journey; it ended with plenty to celebrate too.

Sixteen medals. Five state champions. And a second-straight team championship.

Seniors McKensie Bedore (Storytelling), Sarah Schulz (Informative), Noel Kangas (Prose), Carolyn Solberg (Great Speeches) and Devon Solwold (Duo), and junior Izzy Larson (Duo), all finished the season with gold medals, vaulting Moorhead to their second state championship in as many years. After sharing the title with Eagan last year, the Spuds left no doubt this time around, finishing 21 points ahead of second place Apple Valley. Eagan and Lakeville North finished tied for third.

The five gold medals are the most earned in one state tournament in team history and one shy of the state record. Larson and Solwold also become the first Spuds to successfully defend a state championship, en route to their third state medal each.

Bedore also earned her third medal in her final Storytelling performance, picking up the team’s first gold in that category. Bedore will compete on the national level in Informative Speaking in June.

Solberg, in her final performance as a Spud, becomes the first to claim gold in Great Speeches in team history. Moorhead now has state champions in ten of the 13 speech categories.

For Kangas, her gold medal in Prose is just the second in team history and the first since Hugh Kennedy won gold in 2003. Schulz, one year after taking second place at the NSDA national tournament, earned her second career state medal and first state championship, marking the second Inform gold for Moorhead in the last three years.

Three other seniors earned their second state medal, including a 5th place finish for Abby Dahlberg and Skyler Klostriech (Duo) and a 3rd place finish for Maryn Cella (Great Speeches).

Juniors Luke Seidel (Drama) and Ariana Grollman (Humor) each earned second place in their first appearance in the state finals. Seniors Lauren Cartwright (8th, Creative), and Megan Duchene (4th, Ex. Reading); juniors Bridget McManamon (8th, Ex. Speaking), Kenan Stoltenow (6th, Drama), and Jennie Hastings (6th, Poetry); and sophomores Katherine Leiseth (7th, Ex. Reading), and Sophia Klindt (4th, Humor) all earned their first state medals.

The 16 total medals eclipses last year’s mark of 15 and is three shy of the team record—it also moves Moorhead into a tie for third all time with Forest Lake at 185.

The complete results packet can be found by clicking here.

Although the season’s journey ends for most of the team, 13 speakers will take a short break before returning to rehearsal ahead of the NSDA national tournament in June. In less than three weeks, six of those Spuds will travel to Kansas City for the NIETOC tournament. More information on each tournament can be found here.

While the state season has ended, Moorhead’s mission to share important messages continues. To support these “champions by choice,” please visit our fundraising page by clicking here.