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Park Rapids speech team places well at home tourney

Park Rapids students, back, from left, Jacob Froelich, Luke Swenson and Jason Dennis, anxiously wait to see who will advance to the final round with Walker students Trish Martin and Katie Roehl. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
Century School halls were filled with students from 24 high schools for the Park Rapids Area High School home speech tournament on Saturday.2 / 2

Century School was buzzing with activity Saturday at the Park Rapids Area High School home speech tournament.

Park Rapids placed third out of 24 schools behind Walker in first place and Bemidji in second place.

After participating in different speech categories, such as great speeches, poetry, prose or discussion, students wait to see who advanced to the final round.

Amber Dearstyne, a Park Rapids senior, participated in poetry reading on Saturday. As students crowded around waiting for final round postings, she waited off to the side with her headphones on.

"The final rounds get pretty wild, I like to stay back," she said.

Dearstyne has participated in speech for four years.

"I like all the friends I've met, it's a lot of fun to see their take on the different categories," she said.

Jacob Froelich and Luke Swenson, also from the Park Rapids team, were standing amid the crowd waiting for final round postings.

"It's a pretty big meet, it's intense," Swenson said.

They like socializing with students they have met at different speech meets, they said.

Park Rapids speech coach Deb Davis was running around Saturday putting up postings of the final round participants.

Several Park Rapids students received medals at the event.

First place medals went to Jason Dennis and Luke Swenson. Second place medals went to Matt Walker and Tony Schmid. Fourth place finalists were Nathan Gebhard, Sophie Shogren and Sarah Schultz. Fifth place went to Carson Christenson and Amber Dearstyne. Alana McKeever came in eighth in poetry. Placing ninth were Jake Froelich, Leah Meinert, Paula Guajardo, and Travis Atkinson. Also winning ribbons were Megan Larson, Jake Grimes and Ben Pilkey.