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Cromwell sends two to State

The Cromwell Speech team tied for fifth place at the Section 7A Speech Contest April 5. Members are (top, from left) Kendal Houck, Lucas Johnson, Vanessa Dickey, Cloe Forland, Olivia Warpula, Hunter Rauvola, (bottom, from left) Dakota Burton and Kyle Pfisthner. Not pictured: Amber Cahoon. Contributed Photo

The Cromwell Speech Team tied for fifth place out of 20 teams at the Section 7A Speech Contest at Eveleth-Gilbert High School on Saturday, April 5. Kyle Pfisthner and Olivia Warpula qualified for the State meet April 12 at Blaine High School.

Pfisthner took third place in the category of Extemporaneous Speaking. The category involves researching and answering current event questions that range from domestic to international issues. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding categories. Students who take part in this category often go into law, politics, and serving people in government. Pfisthner, an eighth-grader, is the youngest speaker at Cromwell-Wright to qualify for State.

Warpula took second place in the category of Humorous Interpretation by performing “Luann – Scenes in Teen’s Life” by Greg Evans, a musical comedy, based off the comic strip. Warpula found her piece at the Gustavus Speech Camp last summer and has worked really hard this season, according to Coach Brian Schilling. She has earned first place at Cass Lake, McGregor and Virginia speech meets. She made the top 10 in semifinals at the NFL District Tournament in St. Cloud this past March. She also qualified for a National Tournament in May at Gustavus Adolphus College called NIETOC with her same piece.

Cromwell-Wright had four other students in the final rounds at Sections. Vanessa Dickey in Drama and Lucas Johnson in Extemporaneous Reading were both one spot away from making State. They both earned fourth place. Hunter Rauvola — who went to State last year in Extemporaneous Speaking — took fifth place, and Cloe Forland took sixth place in Drama. Kendall Houck made semifinals in Creative Expression. Also performing were Dakota Burton and Amber Cahoon.

“We had a great season despite different challenges with a hard winter season, smaller coaching staff, and a rebuilding year for the program,” said Schilling. “We are very proud of having six speakers in the finals at Sections. We still showed that Cromwell-Wright is a powerhouse of a program. We want to send out a special thank you to all the businesses and people who contributed donations this year. Also, a big thank you to all the help from our speech team alumni who came back to judge and coach students.”