The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 13, 2014

Loyola shines at state speech tournament

Six Crusaders medal, only two schools win more

No area speakers won gold medals at the Minnesota State High School League state speech tournament over the weekend, but Loyola High School once again made a strong showing across multiple categories in the Class A tournament Saturday in Blaine. Only two schools — Fairmont with nine medals and Mounds Park Academy with six — had more top-eight finishes than Loyola's five.

Shane Price led the Crusaders with a second-place finish in extemporaneous speaking, and Mary Ninneman finished third in storytelling. Other Loyola speakers placing at the tournament were Will Cipos, fourth in humorous interpretation; Taylor Sexton, fourth in serious interpretation — prose; and Hannah Atkinson and Rachel Schaub, fifth in duo interpretation.

Price and Ninneman were among just 11 speakers to pick up their third career medal at the state tournament this year. Zack Brown of Fairmont was the only competitor to win a fourth career medal.

Loyola has now produced 115 speech medalists since 1969, trailing only Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (226) and Mounds Park Academy (144), according to Minnesota State High School League records.

St. Peter High School produced a pair of medalists Saturday. Kenneth Lusty was fifth in serious interpretation — prose, and Connor Prafke was seventh in discussion.

Other area speakers with strong showings were Peyton Lewis of New Ulm Cathedral, who finished third in serious interpretation — poetry; Kassy Juarez of Blue Earth Area, who was seventh in serious interpretation — drama; and John Paul Sousa of Le Sueur-Henderson, who was eighth in extemporaneous reading.

Of the 187 schools to field Class A speech teams this season, 96 had speakers advancing to the state tournament.

In the tournament for Class AA schools, 61 of which had speakers advance to Friday's competition in Blaine, only one area competitor won a medal by finishing in the top eight.

Shealyn Kawlewski of Mankato West placed third in extemporaneous reading.

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