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Cardinals send four to State

Cromwell-Wright earned fourth place out of 21 teams at the Section 7A Speech Tournament held Friday, April 11, at Eveleth High School. Blackduck was the Section champion and Duluth Marshall was the runner up.

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Cromwell-Wright High School is sending four students — Cody Whiting (from left), Cloe Forland, Olivia Warpula and Lucas Johnson — to the 2015 State Speech Tournament at Lakeville North High School on Friday. Photo contributed by Coach Brian Schilling

Cromwell-Wright earned fourth place out of 21 teams at the Section 7A Speech Tournament held Friday, April 11, at Eveleth High School. Blackduck was the Section champion and Duluth Marshall was the runner up.

The Cardinals qualified four people to State: Cloe Forland (third place) in Drama, Cody Whiting (third place) in Discussion, Lucas Johnson (third place) in Extemporaneous Reading, and Olivia Warpula (first place) in Humor.

Warpula is making her second state appearance. She also qualified for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC) in Lincoln, Neb., a second year in a row.

At State, the Forland will perform a heartfelt story of a grieving daughter who loses her mother to the historical 1986 Challenger disaster in “Defying Gravity.”

Whiting will speak with other students in small groups to problem solve issues related to America's image with the global community.

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Johnson will perform selections of prose stories from the book “Leaving Home.”

Warpula will perform a comedy of multiple characters including a crew of pirates who are looking for new recruits at a school in “Pirates of the Cafeteria.”

Cromwell-Wright qualified seven speakers from subsection that was held in McGregor March 28. Jennifer Koenig earned fourth place in the final round of Drama and Josie Jokinen/Anja Schoenberg were the only seventh-graders to qualify for Sections at Cromwell-Wright in Duo.

Brian Schilling is the head coach of the speech team along with assistant coach Courtney Schultz.

Koenig also made Cardinals history by being the first to make a final round with the prestigious National Speech and Debate Association district tournament in Baxter, Minn., in March.

"We had a tremendous showing this year at Sections,” Schilling said. “We had all-stars in the Drama final and many of the judges remarked that it was better than any large school final. We have an exceptional group of young talent and superb senior leadership. They have chosen to dedicate themselves to an activity that develops skills they will use forever.”

The team already had a public community performance before subsection in March. However, there will also be a send off for the students on Thursday, April 16, in the school auditorium.

The 2015 State Speech Tournament this weekend at Lakeville North High School features the top three qualifiers from each of eight Class A sections and from each of eight Class AA sections in 13 different speech categories. The 2015 tournament qualifiers represent 168 high school teams - 99 Class A teams and 69 Class AA teams. Students from 316 Minnesota high schools participated in speech during the current school year on 186 Class A teams and 114 Class AA teams.

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Find more information about the state tournament online at mshsl.org.

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