R-P Speech Team earns fifth place at Cotter Invitational

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT MAYNARD Front row (L-R): Ayla McNeil, Emma Schuster, Christina Scaife, Megan Ekern, Mandee Tarras, Johanna Siefert, Lily Thompson, and Julie Maynard. Back row: Breena Pehler, Leah Himlie, Olivia Thompson, Zenessa Anderson, Xander Auman, Hannah Linder, and Dylan Payne.

The Rushford-Peterson Speech Team placed 5th out of 22 schools at the Cotter Invitational last weekend in Winona, Minn. Over 300 speakers from both A and AA schools competed in three rounds and a final round to determine the top six entrants in 13 categories.

Competition was tough as many categories had over 20 participants; Humorous Interpretation was the highest with 38. R-P competed with 14 entrants, but five entrants were absent due to the senior class trip and sports tournaments.

When the dust settled, R-P walked away with five entrants who made the final round and two champions in separate categories. The results are as follows: Xander Auman, first in Poetry; Zenessa Anderson, first in Storytelling; Leah Himlie, second in Great Speeches, Hannah Linder, fourth in Prose; Julia Maynard and Lily Thompson, fourth in Duo; Dylan Payne, seventh in Discussion; Johanna Seifert, seventh in Creative Expression; Annika Bakkum-Ekern, eighth in Drama; Emma Schuster, 11th in Drama; Mandee Tarras and Megan Ekern, 11th in Duo; Olivia Thompson, 12th in Humorous; Ayla McNeill, 12th in Poetry; Christina Scaife, 14th in Humorous; Breena Pehler, 16th in Extemporaneous Reading.

"I've been telling everyone that this is one of the strongest and hard-working speech teams I've had the opportunity to work with," said Coach Forrest Musselman. "Mrs. Michel and I are looking forward to next weekend to see how they do at the subsection."

Next Saturday, March 30, the team competes in the subsection contest at Cannon Falls, Minn. The top six participants in each category will advance to sections the following weekend in Byron, Minn.