State Speech Preview

Post date: Apr 18, 2018 4:13:45 PM

On Friday, 29 Spuds speakers will compete at Apple Valley High School in the 2018 State AA Speech Tournament. Moorhead enters the tournament having won the last two team championships.

The Spuds lead all schools with 27 entries and is the only team represented in all 13 MSHSL categories.

Leading the Spuds into the tournament is senior captain Izzy Larson who is competing for her third straight gold medal and fourth overall. She is the only competitor at this year's tournament to vie for a fourth state medal. If she takes gold in poetry, she will become just the 5th in state history and the first since 2005 to earn three first-place finishes. A fourth medal would also place Larson in elite company--only 56 speakers have earned four state medals in MSHSL history; she would also become the first from Moorhead to achieve the feat.

Six other Spuds return to state looking for a second medal. Seniors Luke Seidel (Prose), Bridget McManamon (Ex. Speaking), Ariana Grollman (Humor), and Jennie Hastings (Drama), as well as juniors Katherine Leiseth (Ex. Reading) and Sophia Klindt (Humor) all earned medals in 2017. Juniors Kaden Moszer (Drama) and Dylan Stage (Drama) will also make their second consecutive state appearance and are in search of their first medals.

Additionally, 20 other Spuds will compete at state for the first time. They include Ian Bahe (Creative), Sydney Anderson (Discussion), Greta Almlie & Stella Mehlhoff (Duo), Jonah Hanson & Cassidy Wendt (Duo), Chelsea Bubbers (Ex. Reading), Emma Pranger (Ex. Speaking), Claire Stoltenow (Ex. Speaking), Neva Miller (Great Speeches), Molly Hauf (Great Speeches), Grace Halvorson (Inform), Anna Larson (Inform), Anni Yoney (Inform), Jack Entzion (Oratory), Meghan Johnson (Oratory), Amelia Bjorklund (Poetry), Margaret Dickey (Prose), Alex Seigel (Storytelling), and Ali Astrup (Storytelling).

The MSHSL State AA Tournament begins on Friday, April 20 with round one set to start at 10:15 am.

By the numbers:

185 - The number of gold medals won by Moorhead, tied with Forest Lake for third most in state history. Apple Valley (391) and Eagan (303) lead all schools in all-time gold medals won.

27 - The number of Moorhead entries at this year's tournament, one more than Lakeville North and eleven more than Eagan and Elk River, who are tied for third most with 16 each.

6 - The number of gold medals in Duo won by the Spuds, the most of any category for the team.

0 - The number of gold medals won by Moorhead in Discussion, Ex. Reading, and Ex. Speaking. Last year, Moorhead won its first gold in Great Speeches (Carolyn Solberg) and Storytelling (McKensie Bedore).

6 - The number of Moorhead's state champions in 2017, tied for 2nd most in a single tournament in MSHSL history.

1994 - The last year Moorhead did not advance a speaker to a final round. Since 1995, the Spuds have earned 175 medals at state.

5 - The spuds have earned at least one gold medal in each of the last five state tournaments.

More information on the state tournament can be found here. Follow us on Twitter this Friday for live updates throughout the day. Final round postings should begin around 2:30 pm with the final rounds starting at 3:30. Then, join us live on Twitter for the awards ceremony starting at 5:30 pm.