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Kate Olafson, left and Katie Slindee

Speech News

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Olafson, Slindee earn state medals

The Minnesota State High School League State Speech Tournament was held at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter April 23-24 and Blackduck High School led the field of competitors with 19 qualified speakers -- the largest number of any Single-A school in the state.

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After three difficult preliminary rounds of competition, the top eight speakers in each category advanced to the prestigious state finals.

Kate Olafson, in the category of Serious Interpretation of Poetry, took sixth place after a five-way tie for third place was broken, and she was only a single point out of second place.

Katie Slindee, in the category of Informative Speaking, ended up in seventh place after a tie-breaker for sixth place. Olafson and Slindee join a small and elite group of state medalists in for Blackduck and as such, will have their names added to the newly placed placards in the athletic hallway of the high school.

Several other Drakes speakers just missed the final round including Brandon Beck, also in Informative Speaking, who missed a spot in finals on a complicated tie-breaking procedure; along with Kelsey Tjepkes in Discussion, Matthew Jedlicka in Serious Interpretation of Drama, Connor Cease and Chris O'Reilly in Duo Interpretation and Amelia Dernier in Great Speeches. Most of the Blackduck speakers finished in the upper two-thirds of the competitors at state in 2010.

This is the conclusion of a highly successful season for the Drakes speakers, having finished three tournaments in first place, two in second and one in third place as a team and earning more than 200 individual awards. Congratulations to the Blackduck High School Speech team on an amazing season that has earned recognition from the entire State High School League.

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Pioneer staff reports
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