Chaska Speech Team

Recent Chaska Speech Team award winners include, first row from left: Lucy Browning, Brenna Mathers, Emma Larsen, Kendall Benson, Sydney Turner, Liz Kujak, Arjun Balyan, Swarup Pragalsingh, Josiah Chock, Ellie Bergum; second row: Liz Fisher, Evan Schwartz, Miel Aronson, Faith Peterson, Evelyn Chock, Ava Jax, Joe Klinker, Aravis Pennucci; third row: Jeremiah Cox, Rachel Chiang, Cyn-Wei Tan, Anna Ransom, Cyn-Ean Yu, Ena Dirks, Allison Smutka, Lydia Thraen; and fourth row: Parker Wright, Yousif Hamza, Connor Eaton, Ekaanth Veerakumar.

The Chaska Speech Team must have been feeling the home field advantage this year, as it had more entries break into finals at its Feb. 23 home tournament than it has in several years, according to a press release.

There were 35 entries in a final or honor final round, including all four of the team's duo entries making the final round.

Other highlights include Josiah Chock taking first place in Storytelling and Jeremiah Cox taking first place in Informative. Faith Peterson took first place in the Poetry Honor Final round while Ava Jax took first place in the Original Oratory Honor Final round.

It is customary for the hosting speech team to not participate in the Team Sweepstakes Awards. However, unofficially, the Chaska Team scored more points than any of the other teams competing on Saturday, according to the release.

"This team has been performing above and beyond expectations this entire season, and such a successful home tournament has really been the icing on the cake for this team. We will continue working hard to keep the streak and perform our best all season," the release stated.

The team travels to a tournament at Lakeville North High School on Saturday.

Finals: Josiah Chock, 1st in Storytelling; Jeremiah Cox, 1st in Informative; Ellie Bergum, 2nd in Creative Expression; Cyn-Ean Yu, 2nd in Drama; Kendall Benson and Lucy Browning, 2nd in Duo; Lucy Browning, 2nd in Extemp. Reading; Emma Larsen, 2nd in Great Speeches; Evelyn Chock, 2nd in Humor; Jeremiah Cox, 2nd in POI; Josiah Chock and Evelyn Chock, 3rd in Duo; Cyn-Wei Tan, 3rd in Prose; Sydney Turner, 3rd in Poetry; Jeremiah Cox, 4th in Original Oratory; Ekaanth Veerakumar and Aravis Pennucci, 4th in Duo; Yousif Hamza, 5th in Creative Expression; Joe Klinker and Connor Eaton, 6th in Duo; Ena Dirks, 7th in Drama; Anna Ransom, 7th in Storytelling; Rachel Chiang, 7th in Informative.

Honor Finals: Ava Jax, 1st in Original Oratory; Faith Peterson, 1st in Poetry; Sydney Turner, 2nd in Prose; Evan Schwartz, 3rd in Creative Expression; Aravis Pennucci, 3rd in Drama; Swarup Pragalsingh, 3rd in Storytelling; Kendall Benson, 3rd in Prose; Joe Klinker, 4th in Humor; Miel Aronson, 4th in Prose; Brenna Mathers, 5th in Great Speeches; Arjun Balyan, 5th in Humor; Parker Wright, 5th in Storytelling; Liz Fisher, 6th in Creative Expression; Liz Kujak, 6th in Original Oratory; Lydia Thraen, 7th in Creative Expression, Allison Smutka, 7th in Poetry.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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