Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
This past Saturday marked the season's halfway point for Kimball Speech Team, as they traveled to Maple Lake for a "small program" tournament. Coach Erik Meyer invites teams with 30 or fewer participants to his annual meet, bringing Kimball's crew against competition they don't generally see at other meets. Kimball narrowly missed capturing third place in the "Not-So-Small Team" category, making it the first time this season that Kimball did not bring home a team trophy. Le Sueur-Henderson took first place, with New London-Spicer coming in second and Melrose in third place in the same division. In "Small Team," De La Salle took first place, Paynesville, second, and St. Croix Prep bringing home third place. In Speech, students compete in one of thirteen categories, winning places as individuals and earning team points based on their ranking in each round. It naturally goes to show that a speech program which has students participating in all 13 categories will earn a larger amount of team points. Schools with larger programs-such as St Cloud Cathedral or Dassel-Cokato, for example, with 40+ students-usually have several students in each of the 13 categories. In schools with smaller programs, such as Kimball, EV-W, or Annandale, each having 25-30 students, there are generally categories that have no students competing in them. This past Saturday, Kimball Speech members stepped up to the plate and had at least one speaker in all 13 categories, something that has not happened since I began coaching in 2001. Kudos to those on the Speech Team who took on some of the less popular categories to benefit the team! It's a testament to these amazing kids that they are willing to take on a challenging category. One of those students was Kayla Hickman, who competed in both Serious Poetry, her usual category, and Extemporaneous Speaking, where she took eighth place. Also placing individually was Tyler Dockery, who earned seventh place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Kenzie Traurig took sixth place in Great Speeches, and Jenifer Gilpatrick placed second in Humorous. Kimball swept the Original Oratory category with Kelsey Vigoren, Abby Zoller, and Shelby Schiefelbein taking first, second, and third places, earning 40 of the team's 164 points. At midway through the season, it's time to boast a bit. We have three students who have, thus far, placed at every meet. Junior Abby Zoller has placed first in Original Oratory twice, and took a medal in Humorous early in the season. Freshman Jenifer Gilpatrick has also placed at every meet, earning two unbreakable first-place ties, both broken by a coin toss to bring home second. Tyler Dockery, eighth grade, continues to excel in Extemporaneous Reading. Junior Kelsey Vigoren also claims two first-place medals in Original Oratory, while seventh-grader Shelby Schiefelbein and senior Kyle Messer claim recognition in three of the four meets they've competed in. Also to be noted: Kimball has had Category Champions in four out of five meets, the only exception being Sauk Rapids, where Jenifer Gilpatrick was tied for first and lost by a coin toss. The team is having an exceptional year! As March begins, these competitive students buckle down and prepare for earning a trip to the State Speech Meet at Gustavus Adolfus College April 18. Before that, however, the Kimball Speech Team plan to put on their best manners and assist Kimball Community Playhouse in serving dinner at their Annual Dinner Theater and Silent Auction event Saturday, March 7. They travel earlier that day to compete at the Sauk Centre meet; the bus leaves at 6:45 a.m.