The season progresses

As the speech season progresses, speakers are honing their skills and scripts and competing weekly.



The ribbon earners from the Farmington tournament stand proudly on the steps.

On February 18, the Cannon Falls Speech traveled to Farmington for their third invitational competition. This was the second tournament where the team had to travel to another school, following their trip to John-Marshall High School in Rochester the previous week.

The Cannon Falls Speech team members had to get to the Cannon Falls school fifteen minutes before boarding their bus. They loaded the bus at 7 a.m. and the coaches made sure that everyone who signed up to compete was on the bus. Then they went onward to their destination. They arrived at the school around 7:45 and immediately, they found “camp” — the place where they can set all their stuff and where most people hang out after round — and warmed up before the first round, which was at 9 a.m.

 This tournament has three preliminary rounds and a final round for both the novice and varsity divisions. The final rounds were determined on how well each competitor did in the prelim rounds. If they were in the top six spots of their category, they get put in a room and speak for the fourth time that day. The final round ultimately determines the placing of each competitor.  Each varsity final had three judges that determined the rankings while the novice finals had one. There is always a long break between third round and the announcement of the finals competitors as the tournament officials tabulate the prelim scores. Lauren Capelle, in Extemporaneous Reading, expanded on this: “Finals postings took a long time so I was very anxiously waiting for the schematics to pop up.”

The Farmington competition was the last tournament the speech team would attend that would have a novice and varsity split. In these tournaments, all competitors in a category were randomly placed in the three preliminary rounds. However, when finals competitors are determined the split comes into play. The top six overall competitors in a category are placed in varsity finals regardless of their status as varsity or novice. Once the varsity final is set, the top six of the remaining novice competitors are placed into the novice finals round. Novice competitors are first-year speechies or any speechie that has never received a varsity award.  This method protects younger and rookie speechies from having to directly compete against older, seasoned competitors. 

After the long day of speaking, the Cannon Falls Speech Team placed 3rd overall at the Farmington Invitational with numerous individual awards. In Creative Expression, Hades Kammerude placed 2nd novice and Meagan Pederson placed 3rd varsity. In Discussion, Gavin Harrington placed 6th novice. In Drama, Kalie Campbell Moline placed 1st novice and Micah Katterjohn placed 3rd varsity. In Duo, Kendahl Zimmerman and Bowen Maki placed 1st varsity. In Extemporaneous Reading, Marilyn Mausolf placed 4th novice, Anya Nygaard placed 3rd novice, Lauren Capelle placed 6th varsity, and Ava Brokate placed 4th varsity. In Extemporaneous Speaking, Lydia Pederson placed 1st varsity. In Great Speeches, Angel Zheng placed 5th varsity. In Humorous, Lillian Wagenknecht placed 2nd novice and Will Brokate placed 1st novice. In Original Oratory, Joanna Wu placed 5th novice. In Poetry Reading, Tristin Qualey placed 4th varsity and Addie Anderson placed 2nd varsity. In Prose Reading, Vic Brady placed 6th novice. In Storytelling, Willow O’Gorman placed 3rd novice, Henry Nygaard placed 2nd novice, and Lauren Ritz placed 7th varsity. 

It was a great day for the team. Lillian Wagenknecht in Humorous, says, “I think it went well. I think it went amazing for being early in the season.”