HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Feb. 27, 2006

DC speech team returns from Harvard competition

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Last week, Dassel-Cokato speech students returned from their trip to Harvard for the 32nd Annual Harvard National Invitational Forensics Tournament.

Susan Marco, the high school’s speech coach believe this tournament prepares students for the lifelong skills of speaking, organizing, and preparing for presentations.

Students get to see top levels of competition.

Some students have continued to go on to Ivy League colleges and some will go back for an enrichment program in the summer, Marco said.

This year, 290 schools from 42 states participated in the event and 1,000 students competed.

Among the 39 DC speech students, 18 competed in the schools ninth year of attendance.

“It’s hard to even imagine how many people you’re competing against,” commented speech student Emily Kringle.

This is Kringle’s second time going to the Harvard speech tournament.

“I liked seeing the quality of the competition,” Kringle said.

She participated in the original oratory category, which is persuasive speaking.

Only three other Minnesota schools participated in the event including Eastview High School in Eagan and St. Cloud Tech High School.

The top DC competitors were Bethany Barberg, Pam Dahlman, Ali Hendrickson, Leighland Hooks, Andrea Imberg, Caitlyn Nystedt, and Rachel Schaaf.

Four judges took part in the competition including Becky Nelson, Beth Carlson, Amy Westrum, and Susan Marco.

The Cokato American Legion donated money for the transportation and the students earned money through Speech Boosters and fundraisers.

This is the second largest competition following the National Forensics League National Competition, according to Marco.

The students spent three days at the competition and the days were long.

“Some days I coached 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” Marco said.

Dassel-Cokato is hosting the Wright County conference speech tournament Thursday, March 16.

With sections and state coming up, Marco believes the competition prepares them for these events.

Sections will take place Saturday, April 1 in Mankato and Bloomington Jefferson High School is hosting the state competition Friday, April 21.

DC’s speech teams have been undefeated at this event for more than 20 years, Marco said.


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