A road not heavily traveled

LNHS Speech team qualifies 12 to national tournament


Record-breaking number of LNHS Speech team qualifies for national tournament

Lydia Bermel, Staff Writer

This past weekend Lakeville North’s Speech team qualified 13 students to the national tournament in June, which will be hosted in Birmingham, Alabama. The road to Nationals is one that is not heavily traveled as it takes hard work, passion and perseverance.

On Friday and Saturday of last week, a team of students from LNHS competed in the National Qualifying tournament for Speech. Only those who compete in national categories of Humor, Extemporaneous speaking, Drama, Duo, Original Oratory, Program Oral Interpretation, and Informative were allowed to be apart of the tournament.

But within the Lakeville North speech team, which is nationally recognized, making the national qualifying team, which is selected by the coaches, is an honor in itself. Students who seek to be a part of the team and want to have a chance at Nationals have to prove themselves all season through hard work and success.

Hosted at Centennial High school on Friday, March 10th,  and at Eagan High School on Saturday, March 11th, the tournament was grueling one. All students performed in three preliminary rounds and from there those who earned high enough ranks “broke”  into semifinals and finals. Those who made it to finals competed in the final round on Saturday in front of 5 judges. The judges would rank their performance on scale of 1-5, 1 being the best. And the top three speakers with the lowest ranks would qualify for nationals.

Nerves were high as those who competed anxiously awaited their results. From the 16 that broke into finals, 13 qualified. This is nearly double the amount from last year. Among them were senior Olivia Shoemaker; juniors Lauren Davis, Noah Gallagher, Brent Hauck, Grace Hjort, Kelly Lingen, Dennis Muchiri, Chloe Mutebi, Vanessa Nguyen, John Pete, Noah Schetnan and Joshua Weinstein; and sophomore, Andrea Schiefelbein.  Lakeville North has never sent this many kids before; it was a record amount for the team, said Head Coach Jennifer Baese.

A spot on the national team is a deeply coveted one, not only is it a chance to compete for a national title but a chance to tell a story, one that they have crafted into perfection over months.

“Going to nationals just validates all the hard work I’ve put into this season,” said Sophomore Andrea Schiefelbein.

This summer hundreds of people from all over the country will gather to compete and tell their stories. Among them will be record breaking 13 students from Lakeville North.

“Nationals is competing with some of the smartest, most outgoing people in the country, it’s essentially the entire country watching you perform a story you worked so hard for,” said junior Captain John Pete.