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Park Rapids Area High School students Megan Larson, Nathan Gebhard, Jason Dennis and Luke Swenson competed at the state speech tournament at Gustavus Adolphus College over the weekend. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Speakers claim 1st, 3rd at state

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Four Park Rapids Area High School students competed in the state speech tournament over the weekend at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

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Jason Dennis and Luke Swenson, fondly referred to on the speech team as "the boys," placed first in duo interpretation. The state champions are 10th graders. Last year they placed fifth at state competition.

Nathan Gebhard, a junior, placed third in creative expression. He wrote his own creative expression piece this year. Last year, he placed fourth at state.

Megan Larson, a 10th grader, made her first trip to the state tournament this year. She competed in the serious drama category and missed competing in the final round by one point.

Ninety-nine class A schools competed at the state tournament. Of the 99 competing schools, 52 had speakers who made it to the final round of competition. (The final round includes the top eight speakers in each of the categories).

Of those 52 schools competing in the final round of state competition, 24 schools won two or more medals. Park Rapids was one of those schools. Of those 24 class A schools, Park Rapids is one of 11 in the state to have state champions.

Dennis and Swenson will be competing at the national speech competition in Birmingham, Ala., in June. They are looking for financial help to get there and would appreciate any donations.

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