Chaska speech team

Chaska team finalists from the Wayzata competition include: (back row, from the left) Katelyn Ellinger, Edward Kent, Ava Gordon; (center row) Bella Bryan, Camila Mendoza Castrillon; (front) Hamdi Abdullahi, Catie Kim, Adonai Yidnekachew, Joelle Sihombing. Not Pictured: Danica Grafelman

The Chaska High School Speech Team traveled to Duluth for the Duluth Denfeld Rotary tournament this past weekend. The Denfeld tournament is the only overnight tournament for the team each year and the team members and coaches were happy to head north again this year after competing in the tournament virtually last year.

The team had 39 students competing with a total of 43 entries in the Feb. 5 tournament. Fifteen of the entries advanced to the finals round in their category and fifteen entries advanced to next-in finals (also known as honor finals) in their category. Ava Gordon and Katelyn Ellinger were named tournament champions in their categories of Great Speeches and Creative Expression, respectively.

Other students placing in finals include:

  • 2nd place: Adonai Yidnekachew, Great Speeches; Gavyn Soderstrom, Storytelling; Halle Browning, Informative Speaking.
  • 3rd place: Gigi Yakes, Extemporaneous Speaking; Suad Muhumed, Poetry.
  • 4th place: Halle Browning, Great Speeches; Hamdi Abdullahi, Discussion; Katelyn Ellinger, Original Oratory; Olivia Spannbauer, Poetry.
  • 6th place: Amelia Fahler, Creative Expression; Jayla Airhart, Dramatic Interpretation; Lucas Bishop, Extemporaneous Speaking; Maddy Siekmann, Prose.

Next-in Finals

  • 1st place: Gracie Lougheed, Extemporaneous Reading; Maddy Siekmann, Humorous Interpretation; Tyler Kadlec, Storytelling.
  • 2nd place: Jeannie Nguyen, Poetry; Mathew Abraham, Storytelling; Max Bryan, Humorous Interpretation; William Kail, Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • 3rd place: Edward Kent, Creative Expression; Eli Frost, Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • 4th place: Jay Jacobsen Original Oratory; Katie Jiran, Dramatic Interpretation.
  • 5th place: Joelle Sihombing, Poetry.
  • 6th place: Catie Kim, Poetry; Ena Dirks, Prose.
  • Finalist: Bella Bryan, Poetry.

In addition to these individual awards, the team was named tournament champion out of the 28 teams competing.

The team travels to Woodbury on Saturday to compete in the East Ridge tournament. The following Saturday is the Chaska High School home tournament.

The Chaska High School speech team traveled to Wayzata High School on Jan. 29 to compete in the inaugural Wayzata Speech Tournament. A smaller number of students competed that week because the One Act Competition was held the same day. While those students were missed, the team did very well with eleven entries advancing to a final or next-in (honor) final rounds; seven of the eleven advancing are novice (first year) competitors.

Results from the tournament include: Ava Gordon, 2nd in Great Speeches; Katelyn Ellinger, 2nd in Creative Expression and 4th in Original Oratory; and Bella Bryan, 6th in Poetry.

Next-in finals novice competition: Joelle Sihombing, 1st in Poetry; Adonai Yidnekachew, 3rd in Great Speeches; Edward Kent, 3rd in Creative Expression; Camila Mendoza Castrillon, 5th in Prose; Catie Kim, 5th in Poetry; Hamdi Abdullahi, 5th in Discussion; and, Danica Grafelman, 6th in Prose.

Overall, the team placed ninth out of over 40 teams.