State Speech

Murray, NEB.-On Wednesday, March 16, Jessica Schlichtemeier, head coach of the speech team, traveled out to Kearney, Nebraska with Junior Jayden S. to participate in the state tournament. After many close finishes from the team at districts, Jayden emerged as a state qualifier with his third place finish in extemporaneous speaking (extemp).

After spending the night, they had to be at Kearney High School early in the morning for “draw”. In extemp, competitors are given three topic options that relate to politics. They are then given one hour to prepare a persuasive speech in response to the question they choose.

Competitors are then vetted through three rounds of competition. Finalists are chosen using how well they ranked in their preliminary rounds, as well as number scores given to them by their judges.

Jayden achieved success in his first and third rounds with a second place finish in each. However, after being ranked sixth in the second round, that outlier score knocked him out of getting into finals. The low rank was a little surprising, but as Schlictemeier put it, “It’s always hard to go into state with expectations, because things usually don’t go the way you think they will.”

Overall, it was a successful day, full of accomplishments. Many other team members also came close to achieving aspirations of state competition. And with only two seniors on the team, next year may yet hold more great things for Conestoga speech.