By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN - Four Dassel-Cokato speech participants are heading to the state competition Friday, April 17 at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter including Elyse Kallgren, Rachel Korhonen, Lillia Khelif, and Beth Schmid.
Ten of DC’s speech students competed April 4 in the 2AA section tournament in Mankato.
Four of the 10 walked away heading to state, with Abby Jo Imberg placing fourth; making her the state alternate.
At sections, DC Senior Elyse Kallgren placed second in creative expression at the April with junior Rachel Korhonen placing second in extemporaneous speaking, and sophomores Beth Schmid and Lillia Khelif placing third as a team in duo interpretation.
Kallgren’s personally written piece for the season, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” is from the point of view from an old Irish women suffering from Alzheimer’s
Once she hears a song her husband used to sing to her, it triggers memories with him.
The story is proof one can still remember a love that powerful, Kallgren said.
She will use the same piece to compete at state.
Korhonen’s category is a bit different from Kallgren’s in that she doesn’t know what story she will read until 30 minutes before the show.
Stories are chosen for Korhonen from a collection of 15 different stories and is allowed just 30 minutes to prepare.
“It’s quite stressful,” she said.
During Korhonen’s speech, she must tell the story while using eye contact and expression within a six-minute time limit.
The story she chose was “I Stand Here Ironing,” by Tillie Olsen.
The duo, Schmid and Khelif, chose a humorous piece from a Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholemew and the Oobleck.”
Schmid and Khelif both give credit to their coach, Jakub Barberg, for helping them get to the state competition.
The duo interpretation category is acting, but the participants can’t look or touch each other during the performance.
The piece is about learning the lesson of being careful what you wish for, explained the dynamic duo.
The story is about a king who is bored with himself and wants something new to fall from the sky.
Something does fall from the sky in a fictitious form of green precipitation, oobleck.
Each of the state participants are energetic about their sport. Kallgren told of the buttons at the section tournament that read, “America’s number one fear is our varsity sport.”
“Speech rocks,” Korhonen said.
Both Khelif and Schmid commented on the bond they’ve been able to create through speech.
Aside from the four moving on to state, Abby Jo Imberg placed fourth which means she is a state alternate, Lizzie Cron placed fifth, and Jon Thorson placed sixth.
Kaysha Beckermann moved on to finals in the category of creative expression, placing eighth.
Krissy Rootes placed seventh in poetry, while teammate Carrie Duncan placed sixth in storytelling. In sixth place as well, was Adrienne Haataja in the category of original oratory.
DC speech coach Susan Marco said, “It has been a great, competitive season for the DC speech team.
“The entire team, which consists of 40 students, has worked extremely hard and has shown its strength as a team with many team trophies.
“I am incredibly proud of this team because they are very young, but willing to work for excellence.”