Published On: Wed, Mar 23rd, 2011

Speech team going for second state title


Members of the Hartington Public Schools’ District C2-3 Speech contest are: (back row, l-r) Houston Arens, Monta Meirose, Michaela Dendinger, Anna Creekmore, Alec Fuelberth, Nick Miller; (middle) Gabe Scoville, Eric Derickson, Aspen Olsen, Whitney Driver, Nick Lammers, Adam Wortmann; (front) Bryan Dunn, Brittany Hinkel, Casey Steiner, Nanette Heimes and Cody Fischer.

HARTINGTON — The Hartington Public Speech team is looking for another state title.
HPS has a strong tradition of success on the state speech level, earning five straight state runner-up finishes before claiming the state title last year.
This year’s speech team also has a good shot at the title, qualifying 11 entries for state on its way to winning the C2-3 District Championship last week.

Hartington sent 17 entries to finals and scored 138 points to win – Stanton was second with 117 points.
“Our kids have worked extremely hard this year. They were relatively inexperienced but have grown a lot as the season has progressed,” said Speech Coach A. J. Johnson. “Their work ethic and dedication has made them successful.”
This is the eleventh time in twelve years for Hartington Public to win the District Championship.
The top three in each event qualify for the state meet which will be held in Kearney on Friday, March 25.
“With our success in the conference and district meets the team is now committed to putting in the practice time and making the necessary changes to be competitive at the state meet in Kearney,” Speech Coach Linda Kathol said. “Mr. Johnson and I are extremely pleased with the individual growth of individual speakers and the contributions they are making to the success of the entire team.”
Hartington had four event winners: Alec Fuelberth in Entertainment, Cody Fischer in Extemp, Casey Steiner in Informative and Aspen Olsen in Poetry.
Other individual state qualifiers for Hartington were: Cody Fischer, third in Entertainment; Bryan Dunn, second, Humorous Prose; Nanette Heimes third, Persuasive; Brittany Hinkel third in Poetry and second in Serious Prose.
Senior student Casey Steiner said the win for Hartington didn’t come easy.
“We are coming out of a difficult division – Stanton was second at State last year and Plainview was third. We beat them but it wasn’t easy,” Steiner said.

Bryan Dunn, a senior, has been out for speech for two years – both years Hartington took first place at Districts.
Dunn said it was exciting to win again.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to win,” he said.
He is also happy that all the students that competed at Districts will be at the State Competition in Kearney.
“That is cool,” he said.
Dunn said the speech students will continue to practice every night until they leave for the State competition.
In the group events, the duet acting team of Nick Lammers and Adam Wortmann took second.
The Oral Interpretation of the drama team, Bryan Dunn, Alec Fuelberth, Nanette Heimes, Nick Lammers and Adam Wortmann also took second.
Other medalists for Hartington were Monta Meirose, 6th in Extemp; Gabe Scoville, 6th Humorous Prose; Whitney Driver, fourth, Informative; Anna Creekmore sixth, Persuasive; Eric Derickson, fifth, Serious Prose.
The team of Anna Creekmore, Michaela Dendinger, Eric Derickson and Nick Miller earned a fifth place in Oral Interpretation of Drama.
The duet acting team of Houston Arens and Gabe Scoville did not place but earned a superior rating in the preliminary round.
Hartington was the only team in the district to have all entries earn superior ratings in the preliminary round at district competition.
Last year the Hartington students were the Class D1 State Champions.
“This year we moved up to Class C2. We were the C2 State runner-up in 2009,” Johnson said. “We have been State Champions three times: C2 in 2002, D1 in 2003, and D1 in 2010.”
Hartington Public has been runner up six times: C2 in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.