Spuds strike gold, win inaugural state title

Post date: Apr 17, 2016 5:36:32 PM

For the first time in MSHSL Speech history, the state tournament awarded more than individual medals, honoring the top three schools in the state. Moorhead, Eagan and Apple Valley--three teams consistently at the top of the leaderboard all season long--finished within two points of each other, by far the closest finish from any tournament this year.

A truly historic day ended with both Moorhead and Eagan hoisting the 2016 State AA championship trophy, deadlocked in an unbreakable tie just two points ahead of Apple Valley. All three schools entered the tournament with 19 entries.

The Spuds racked up 15 medals, including state championship honors for junior Devon Solwold and sophomore Izzy Larson for their performance of "Riding in Cars with Boys." It is the second state medal earned by both speakers and the second duo championship for Moorhead in the last three years. Matt Wisenden and Jordan Hartjen's "Never Swim Alone" won in 2014.

Two months later, that duo went on to earn Moorhead's first and only national championship.

The Spuds were represented in ten of the 13 final rounds, highlighted by gold in duo and second place finishes in Great Speeches and Prose. Along with Larson and Solwold, a total of seven speakers earned their second state medal, including seniors Delana Haglund (3rd-Prose), Levi Seidel (4th-Drama), and Sean Dahlberg (6th-Duo); and juniors Jessica Anderson (2nd-Prose) and McKensie Bedore (3rd-Storytelling).

Making their first trip to a state final round included seniors Mason Pickar (5th-Poetry) and Jack Mullally (8th-Oratory); juniors Hannah Hendrickson (6th-Discussion), Abby Dahlberg (6th-Duo), Maryn Cella (2nd-Great Speeches), Skyler Klostriech (4th-Humor), Alex Church (8th-Humor), Sarah Schulz (4th-Inform), Camryn Hodny (6th-Oratory); and freshman Alyssa Haagenson (7th-Storytelling).

A full list of Moorhead medalists can be found here.

Other notes:

-The 15 state medals brings Moorhead's overall total to 169, closing in on Forest Lake's 184 for third-most in state history.

-The Spuds have earned at least two state medals at each of the last 22 MSHSL State Tournaments. The last time Moorhead missed out on final rounds was in 1994.

-This is the fourth consecutive year and fifth time in six years that Moorhead has produced a state champion.

-Larson and Solwold become the fifth Spuds duo team to earn gold at the state tournament.

-The humor medals earned by Klostriech and Church bring the team total to 22 all-time, the most from any category.

-Maryn Cella's second-place medal is the best finish in Great Speeches by a Moorhead speaker.