Nine Luverne students received medals/honors Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Pipestone Invitational Speech Tournament. Pictured front from left are Megan Rogers, Gunnar Oldre, Samantha Ykema, Marisol Hartshorn, (back) Ryleigh Beers, Knute Oldre, Dylan Thorson, Paul Witte and Derek Krueger.

Speech team earns fourth-place sweepstakes recognition in Pipestone

The Luverne speech team competed Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Pipestone Invitational, the largest invitational ever hosted by the Pipestone speech team. Twenty-four teams brought a total of 409 student speakers to the event.

Each participant competed in three preliminary rounds, and the top six from each category competed in a final round.

Luverne’s fourth place finish in the team sweepstakes was a very respectable finish, considering the level of competition, according to coach Caroline Thorson.

Twenty-six members of the Luverne team competed, and many speakers achieved personal bests in rounds.

Several had a first-place finish in a given round.

However, because of the number of student competitors and number of sections in rounds, blue ribbons were not awarded to those who placed first in any given round, rather only for being one place out of the medal round, Thorson explained. Red ribbons were given for two places out of the medal round.

An exemption was made in the final round of the humorous interpretation category.

Gunnar Oldre received a seventh place award as going into finals. However, there was an unbreakable tie, so the final round in humorous interpretation included seven finalists instead of six. There were 52 students competing in Oldre’s category.  This was the case for several categories.  

“Mr. (Gavin) Folkestad and I are so proud of all of our speakers,” Thorson said.

The team’s next competition is Saturday, Feb. 27, in Adrian. Luverne hosts its own invitational on March 5.

Besides the seventh-place finish by Gunner Oldre, other placings include Megan Rogers, red ribbon, dramatic interpretation; Samantha Ykema, second, discussion; Marisol Hartshorn, blue ribbon, storytelling; Ryleigh Beers, red ribbon, informative speaking; Knute Oldre, first, discussion; Dylan Thorson, first, extemporaneous speaking; Paul Witte III, fifth, storytelling; and Derek Krueger, second, great speeches.

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