River Valley speakers fared well during the season’s busiest week of speech activities.

River Valley speakers fared well during the season’s busiest week of speech activities.

While junior high speakers finished strong individually and as a team at Thursday’s Mankato Loyola junior high tournament, senior high speakers prepared for several weekend tournaments.

River Valley junior high speakers finished fourth as a team on Thursday evening at Mankato Loyola. Leading the way for the team was Katelyn Hauth who was the champion in informative speaking. Other teammates who added points include Hannah Johnson earning second in storytelling, Briana Schmidt and Isaac Nelson who earned third and fourth respectively in creative expression, the duo of Joe Pieschel and Ben Runck who placed fourth, Kalina Kastner-fourth place in original oratory, Anna Plotz-fifth in storytelling, and Jessica Moe who received honorable mention in humorous.

Next Saturday, speakers will travel to Janesville for an important contest featuring many Section 2A competitors.

Finally, River Valley speakers will prepare for their public performance which will be held on Tuesday, March 19, immediately following the middle school music concert.

Six River Valley students were strong competitors in one of the state’s largest invitational tournaments.  Individual award winners include Cody Schwartz and Brian Thoreson-3rd place Varsity Championship-Duo; and Isaac Kirschstein-5th place Varsity Championship Finals-Original Oratory. Other competitors, Molly Dunn, Mariah Hoyt and Brandon Roiger, all received some higher rankings in their individual rounds and all participants obtained valuable feedback for polishing during these last weeks leading up to subsection competition.

Team members not competing at the Eagan and NFL tournaments attended the St. Peter tournament on Saturday. As a team, River Valley finished in the middle of the sixteen-team pack consisting of both large and small schools. Individually, Kalina Kastner placed third in varsity original oratory and Amy Davis finished in fourth place in varsity extemp reading. Novice finalists include Katelyn Hauth-3rd in informative speaking, Jocelyn Hayden-5th in poetry, and Briana Schmidt-6th in creative expression.

While no one from River Valley reached the semi-final round at Friday and Saturday’s National Forensic League qualifying tournament, there were great opportunities to compete with some of our nation’s top speakers, almost all who are from large metro-area schools. That experience will elevate performances in future contests and during future years.