Split squad earns top honors at Walker, Lakeville North

Post date: Mar 5, 2017 5:28:57 PM

Splitting the team for the final time in 2017, both Spud squads showed resilience as the invitational portion of the season draws to a close. A mixed team of novice and varsity speakers took home top honors at the Chuck Beckman Memorial tournament in Walker, edging a strong field of competition, while a small but fierce veteran team fell just four team points shy of first place at Lakeville North in the final metro-area tune up before National Qualifier tournaments begin statewide next weekend.

At Walker, several speakers advanced to finals and next-in final rounds. Among them, first-year speaker Anni Yoney took first place in Informative speaking. Others placing in finals include three discussants: Sydney Anderson (2nd), Grant Toppen (4th) and Joey Dispirito (6th). Cassidy Wendt and Jonah Hanson placed 7th in duo, Claire Stoltenow (3rd) and Julianna Bergen (6th) each reached finals in Extemp. Speaking, Laura Jensen took 4th in Inform, and Ali Astrup (4th) and Alex Seigel (5th) each made finals appearances in Storytelling.

Seventeen entries also spoke in Next-in final rounds, with Regan Hart (Creative, Storytelling), Katherine Leiseth (Ex. Reading), Keegan Lee (Ex. Speaking), Annie Bahe (Inform) and Amelia Bjorklund (Poetry) all winning their rounds.

At Lakeville North, 13 entries advanced through prelims and semifinals to earn top-6 finishes. Among them include first place finishes for Devon Solwold (Drama), Solwold and Izzy Larson (Duo), Carolyn Solberg (Great Speeches) and McKensie Bedore (Informative). Also placing at finals: Alex Church (6th, Creative), Bridget McManamon (3rd, US Extemp.), Jessica Anderson (3rd, Oratory, 4th, Drama), Abby Dahlberg & Skyler Klostriech (5th, Duo), Ariana Grollman (5th, Humor), Izzy Larson (2nd, Poetry), McKensie Bedore (2nd, Storytelling) and Alyssa Haagenson (6th, Storytelling).

Additionally, individual sweepstakes trophies were awarded for speakers who accumulated the most points. Solwold brought home second place and was edged by his duo partner, Larson, by two points for the top spot. Larson took second place in individual sweeps at Lakeville North last season.

Full results can be found by clicking on the "results" tab on our schedule and results page.

With one small tournament remaining on the calendar this weekend, the focus now shifts to the National Qualifier tournament which will be held in Brainerd starting Friday, March 17. The coaching staff will announce the full roster later this week. The Spuds are aiming to repeat a successful NSDA Northern Lights tournament from a year ago in which 19 speakers earned spots at Nationals. The 2017 NSDA National Tournament will be held in Birmingham, AL in late June.