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The Lantern

Three-peat performance

Cannon Falls' speech team accomplished an amazing feat, capturing its third straight state team championship

The+captains+rouse+the+team+before+the+tournament+begins
The captains rouse the team before the tournament begins

The captains rouse the team before the tournament begins

Sam Hamann

Sam Hamann

The captains rouse the team before the tournament begins

Grant Schlichting, co-editor-in-chief

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Three hundred and twelve students from over one hundred schools are all vying for the same thing – to be named champion in their respective speech Category. From Humorous to Drama, Extemporaneous Reading to Discussion, students from all over the state gathered at Apple Valley High School to compete at the toughest speech tournament in Minnesota, and students at Cannon Falls are proud of their triple repeat performance as state class A team champions. 

The tournament started at 9:00 am and the last round ended at 4:00 pm with awards at 5:30. After three rounds, students gathered around multiple TV’s to see who made finals. Cannon Falls finalists included Laura Johnson (informative speaking: 6th), Chris Baszuro (great speeches: 4th), Grant Schlichting (extemporaneous speaking: 4th), Ryan Schlichting (extemporaneous speaking: 3rd), Olivia Anderson (original oratory: 2nd), Iris French (storytelling: 2nd), and Hannah Singewald (poetry: 1st).

Singewald tells us, “I was so short and I didn’t see the last name on the list because of how crowded it was. Not only was it exciting to see my name on the list, but my classmates Laura and Olivia as well!”

This year junior, Olivia Anderson’s,  Original Oratory speech is about “misrepresentation of mental health.” However, for Anderson, finaling wasn’t the biggest impact of the day. A stranger confronted Anderson afterwards and told her that her speech had completely altered his perspective. He confessed to having struggled with OCD, anxiety, and depression which had caused him to live in shame. Knowing that she had positively impacted at least one person made her season worth it.

The day was full of excitement, as the team placed first overall, with Mounds Park Academy coming in second and Melrose Area High School in third. The team is already ramping up for next year, in preparation for the biggest tournament of the season.

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Three-peat performance