Chaska High School

Chaska High School, 545 Pioneer Trail, Chaska.

The Chaska Speech team hosted its annual tournament Feb. 20. The team hosted 15 area teams in a virtual format.

With the support and active participation of coaching staff from Chaska, Chanhassen and other neighboring schools, the leadership of the Chaska team members, and the positivity of the judges, the Chaska Speech Tournament was a successful event, according to a press release.

Twenty-two of the Chaska entries advanced to a final or honor final round.

Results include:

Varsity Finals: Sydney Turner, 1st in Poetry and 2nd in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI); Ava Jax, 2nd in Informative; Parker Wright, 2nd in Creative Expression; Anna Holk, 3rd in Discussion; Katie Jiran, 3rd in Drama; Miel Aronson, 3rd in Prose; Cyn-Ean Yu, 4th in Drama; Maddy Siekmann, 4th in Humor; and Cyn-Wei Tan, 6th in Prose.

Next-in Finals: Sami Giesen, 1st in Great Speeches; Suad Muhumed, 1st in Poetry; Ava Gordon, 2nd in Great Speeches; Parker Wright, 2nd in Storytelling; Yousif Hamza, 2nd in Creative Expression; Bella Bryan, 3rd in Poetry; Shruthi Pragalsingh, 3rd in Prose; Yabsera Yidnekachew, 3rd in Creative Expression; Ava Jax, 5th in Creative Expression; Meredith Snapp, 6th in Humor; Gigia Yakes, Finalist in Extemporaneous Speaking; and Max Bryan, Finalist in Humor.

The team competes next at the Star Tribune Eastview Lightning Classic on Saturday.


The Chaska Speech Team competed at the East Ridge Raptor Speech Tournament Feb. 13, earning 9th place out of 38 teams. Like previous tournaments this year, the competition was held virtually, with some students competing from home and others competing in individual classrooms at the high school.

Eleven entries advanced to a final round of competition. Highlights include four novice (first year) team members advancing to final rounds, with Halle Browning the Novice Champion in Informative Speaking.

Results include:

Varsity Finals: Sydney Turner, 3rd in Poetry; Anna Holk, 6th in Discussion; Parker Wright, 6th in Creative Expression; and Yousif Hamza, Finalist in Creative Expression.

Varsity Next-in Finals: Ava Jax, 2nd in Informative Speaking and 4th in Creative Expression; and Suad Muhumed, Finalist in Varsity Poetry.

Novice Finals: Halle Browning, 1st in Informative Speaking; Riley Wright, 4th in Original Oratory; Tiara Grafton, 5th in Poetry; and Yabsera Yidnekachew, 6th in Creative Expression.

Two team members competed virtually at the 47th Annual Harvard Tournament. This is a large tournament, with competitors from across the country. Miel Aronson competed in Drama against over 200 competitors from across the country and Maddy Siekmann competed in Humor against over 130 competitors.

Siekmann advanced to the Octa-final round, representing the top 45 in the category. With her advancement to the Octa-final round, Siekmann earned her 2nd bid to the NIETOC National Tournament, qualifying for the NIETOC National Tournament in May.

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.