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Blackduck speech team headed to state

Blackduck's state speech tournament qualifiers, from left: Jody Bloom, Nolan Juelson, and Caroline Cheney. Jennifer Parker / For The American 1 / 2
Blackduck's section tournament speakers. Back row, from left: Anna Hanson, Jody Bloom, Nolan Juelson and Caroline Cheney. Middle row: Lauren West, Maia Tjepkes, Preston Zanter, Elliot Stillday and Jayde Blooflat. Front row: Nevaeh Hassel, Kaydre Gullette, Farah Binkley, Haley Patel and Karly Pitzl. Jennifer Parker / For The American 2 / 2

Fifteen speakers with the Blackduck High School speech team competed in the Section 8A Tournament at Fosston on Friday, April 5, with eight advancing to the section finals.

The team placed fifth out of 17 as the eight speakers in the finals racked up the team points.

Three Drakes seniors will be representing Blackduck at the MSHSL State Tournament in Wayzata this weekend. Jody Bloom took second place with her original story, "Sentient Being" in the category of Creative Expression. Nolan Juelson placed second in Great Speeches with an original analysis of Abraham Lincoln's first Dred Scott Speech. Caroline Cheney took third place with her Original Oratory, "The Day the Movies Died."

The top three finishers in each category qualified for state.

Also in the section finals, Jayde Blooflat placed seventh in Serious Interpretation of Poetry with her poetry program from the book, "We Will be Shelter." Kaydre Gullette placed fifth in Extemporaneous Reading with selections from the book, "Sound of Thunder," by Ray Bradbury. Karly Pitzl placed fifth in Storytelling with selections from the book, "The Gutenberg Project." Haley Patel placed fourth in Great Speeches with her original analysis of Abdul Kalam's "Vision for India." Anna Hanson placed fourth in Creative Expression with her original story, "Sophia's Story."

Completing their seasons at the section tournament were: Preston Zanter, Farah Binkley, Lauren West, Elliot Stillday, Nevaeh Hassel, Regan Frenzel and Maia Tjepkes.

The state bound speakers were honored at a state send-off assembly on Tuesday afternoon and then performed at the team's annual "State Speaker Showcase" on Tuesday evening in the high school library for an appreciative audience with refreshments afterward.