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Lifelong Learning

Moorhead High speech team wins third consecutive state team championship

May 15, 2018

The Moorhead High speech team edged Lakeville North to win a third consecutive state speech team championship, and senior Izzy Larson etched her name in the record books by winning her third consecutive speech championship at the MSHSL Class AA State Speech Tournament April 20.

Larson advanced through subsections, sections and state on her way to the gold medal in poetry. She is the first Spud to earn four state medals, and she is just the fifth speaker in state history to win three Class AA state championships — the first to achieve the feat since 2005.

Junior Kaden Moszer earned the other gold medal for Moorhead, taking top honors in drama for his first state medal. Roseville and Apple Valley also earned two gold medals apiece. In all, 14 Spuds earned medals, the most of any school at this year’s tournament.

Five Moorhead High speech team members earned their second consecutive medal at the state tournament, including seniors Luke Seidel (2nd, Prose), Bridget McManamon (5th, Extemporaneous Speaking), and Ariana Grollman (2nd, Humor), and juniors Katherine Leiseth (6th, Extemporaneous Reading) and Sophia Klindt (5th, Humor).

Seven Spuds made their first trip to the state final round. They include juniors Neva Miller (5th, Great Speeches), Margaret Dickey (5th, Prose), Alex Seigel (6th, Storytelling) and Dylan Stage (7th, Drama), sophomore Claire Stoltenow (8th, Extemporaneous Speaking), and freshmen Greta Almlie and Stella Mehlhoff (7th, Duo).

The Spuds have won at least one gold medal at each of the last six state tournaments and have placed at least one speaker in finals for 24 straight years.

The Moorhead Spuds captured the Section 8AA title for the 24th consecutive season and saw a team-record of 27 entries qualify to advance to the state tournament. Moorhead was represented in all 13 categories at the state tournament.

Additionally, 12 Moorhead High speakers and four debaters have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association’s national tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in June. National qualifiers are:
Humor: Ariana Grollman, Sophia Klindt
Drama: Luke Seidel, Jennie Hastings, Margaret Dickey
Duo: Luke Seidel and Sophia Klindt
U.S. Extemp. Speaking: Bridget McManamon
International Extemp. Speaking: Claire Stoltenow
Program Oral Interpretation (POI): Alyssa Haagenson, Izzy Larson
Informative: Anna Larson, Lance Morlock
Oratory: Lance Morlock, Meghan Johnson
Public Forum Debate: Joey Dispirito and Simon Beach, Jack Entzion and Tate Gilbertson.

Izzy Larson was named the 2018 Northern Lights Student of the Year. She will compete at Nationals in POI and is in the running for NSDA National Student of the Year, which is awarded during the national tournament.

Photo: Moorhead High’s Izzy Larson presents at the speech team’s open house “Shut Up and Say Something” last month. Larson earned a gold medal in poetry to win her third consecutive speech championship at the Minnesota State High School League Class AA State Speech Tournament April 20. Credit: Renée Grover

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