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District 196 students win five of 13 state speech titles and 26 medals

District 196 students won five of 13 state championships and 26 of the 104 total medals awarded at this year’s Class AA state speech tournament held at Eastview High School April 22. Eastview also hosted both the Class AA and the Class A tournament April 23.

Medals are awarded for places one through eight in the final round of each of the 13 categories of competition at the state tournament. In the team sweepstakes, Apple Valley finished runner-up to Moorhead High School and Eastview and Eagan finished in third and fourth place, respectively, among all Class AA schools with students participating in the tournament.

Two female students posing for a photo with their speech awards.

Eagan High School state champions Julienne Xiaaj (left) and Julie Schowalter.

Apple Valley High School students won 10 total medals, including state champion Wayne Southwell in dramatic interpretation. Eastview students won 11 medals, with two first-pace finishes, and Eagan High School had two firsts among its five total medals won. State champions from Eastview are Nate Krekeler and Morgan Oksendahl in duo interpretation, and Cailin Mayotte in prose reading. State champions from Eagan are Julia Schowalter in discussion and Julienne Xiaaj in extemporaneous reading.

State runners-up are Olivia Brothers and Angel Dominguez of Eastview in duo interpretation; Kayla Faulkner of Eastview in poetry reading; Lane Dehnel of Apple Valley in prose reading; James Eiden of Eagan in storytelling, and Lydia Voss of Apple Valley, who nearly repeated as state champion in original oratory.

Third-place medals were awarded to Apple Valley students Aquilla Dunn in dramatic interpretation, Jihan Abdi in original oratory and Lucy Standafer in prose reading; Lydia Wipf of Eastview in poetry reading, and Flynn Gray of Eagan in extemporaneous reading.

District 196 students who medaled in places four through eight are as follows:

A male student posing with his speech award.

Apple Valley High School state champion Wayne Southwell.

  • 4th Place – One medal, Zoe Champ of Eastview in storytelling.
  • 5th Place – Four medals: Evelyn Gore and Alice Hovendon of Eagan in duo interpretation; Thomas Nelson of Eastview in extemporaneous speaking; Sophie Green of Apple Valley in informative speaking, and Ilham Yasin of Apple Valley in original oratory.
  • 6th Place – Three medals: Hibaq Hassan of Apple Valley in dramatic interpretation; Hayden Johnson and Gabriella Abaunza-Hernandez of Apple Valley in duo interpretation, and Ainsley Plucker of Eastview in informative speaking.
  • 7th Place – One medal, Stella Keller of Eastview in extemporaneous reading.
  • 8th Place – Two medals: Eastview students Abbie Smith in great speeches and Ian Machalek in storytelling.

A total of 36 District 196 students qualified to compete at this year’s state tournament and the 30 named above advanced to the final round in their category to earn medals.

In the history of the state speech tournament, including this year’s results, Apple Valley ranks first in the number of state champions all time, with 90 in its 46-year history (opened in 1976); Eagan is second with 69 state champions in its 32-year history (opened in 1990), and Eastview is in the top 10 schools with 26 state champions in its 25-year history (opened in 1997). Since 1976, students from these three District 196 schools have won nearly one-third of all state championships awarded in speech (185 of 598 total state champions in 46 years, with 13 events per year). Apple Valley and Eagan also rank first and second in total medals won all time, with 420 and 326, respectively.

The head coaches for speech in District 196 are Daniel Hodges at Apple Valley, Ross Eichele at Eagan, Ryan Roseen at Eastview and Carol Sylvester at Rosemount.