MARSHALL - For some of the students in the annual Southwest Minnesota State University speech tournament, the competition can be a little daunting.
But it can also be fun, students said.
About 500 speech students from 28 area high schools competed in the 13th annual Southwest Minnesota State University High School Speech Individual Tournament Saturday. Participating schools included Marshall, Tracy Area, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Minneota, Canby, Yellow Medicine East, Murray County Central, Lincoln HI, Wabasso and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Tracy Area High School speech students Hannah Brockway and Noah Tiegs rehearse their duo piece at the Southwest Minnesota State speech tournament Saturday.
Tracy Area High School speech members Hannah Brockway, Noah Tiegs and Anna Johnston were among the 500 competitors.
"It's quite a bit bigger than most of the ones we go to," Tiegs said. Tiegs and Brockway are in duo and are performing "Disconnect" by John C. Havens.
Johhnston's trying her hand in serious poetry by doing a series of poems by William Stafford.
The TAHS speech members also noted that there had been some solid competition on Saturday. Most of the competitors in the tournament are pretty good, Tiegs said and a round can go either really well or not so well. Johnston said the first round honestly went kind of bad for her.
But, the TAHS speech students said, they enjoy speech tournaments.
"I always consider speech competitions fun," Brockway said.
"You get to listen to people who are actually good," Johnston said.
"Most of the bigger meets are difficult, but still fun," Tiegs said.
WWG speech members Logan Hotzler and Thomas Knudson were also competing in duo with "The Argument Clinic" by Monty Python, a piece they chose for the season. Knudson said they had their piece memorized by the third week they had it.
"He (Hotzler) laughed the first time he read through it," Knudson said.
Hotzler said they've had to work on their diction with doing British accents as well as annunciation. Knudson said that being in theater helped develop his British accent.
Marshall speech students Ashley Johnson and Skylar Breczinski noted that they get their critiques right away at the SMSU tournament. Johnson is in serious poetry, doing poems by Edgar Allan Poe and Breczinski is competing in serious prose with "On the Rainy River" by Tim O'Brian.
"I kind of like this specific one, it's on the campus that I knew (well)," Breczinski said about the tournament.
"It's spaced out better and not so crowded," Johnson said.
Suanne Christiansen, assistant speech coach at TAHS, said that any experience the students get is good.
"This is a nice tournament that Mark (Fokken, director of SMSU Forensics) hosts," Christiansen said.
Some of the time, the tournaments the TAHS speech students are in don't have a final round, whereas the one at SMSU does, Christiansen said.
"That's what mimics what they're going (to experience) at sections and sub-sections," Christiansen said.