Skip to main content


2023 Speech: Staples-Motley's Mrazek chases rare fifth speech medal

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2023 - 9:43 AM

2022 Caden Mrazek Luke Bates Champ Photo

Caden Mrazek and Luke Bates of Staples-Motley.

Staples-Motley senior Caden Mrazek is on the threshold of joining an elite trio when the Minnesota State High School League’s Speech State Tournament begins two days of competition on Friday, April 28, 2023, at Eastview High School in Apple Valley.

With a Class A championship in Duo Interpretation during the state tournament in 2022, it marked his fourth time in securing a medal during the state tournament. If he and teammate Luke Bates medal again, it will be the fifth all-time medal for Mrazek, a feat recorded just twice before in state tournament history. Sacred Heart’s Ben Senger was the first five-time medalist in 1996. Kaitlyn Berry of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley duplicated the feat in 2008.

Mrazek medaled in Humorous Interpretation in 2018, 2019 and 2021 before capturing the Duo Interpretation title with Bates last season. He and Bates team again with a piece entitled “Young Frankenstein.”

Five other Class A qualifiers hope to defend championships in the same category. The are: Melrose Area’s Drew Pundsack in Creative Expression; Mounds Park Academy’s Akshay Somayajula in Great Speeches; Mounds Park Academy’s Zaara Nayak in Original Oratory and Melrose Area’s Ellie Heller in Storytelling. Richard Sylak of Zumbrota-Mazeppa is the defending champion in Discussion and is seeking his third consecutive title.

Five champions return in Class AA: Wayne Southwell of Apple Valley won in Serious Interpretation of Drama in 2022 and will compete in Serious Interpretation of Prose this year. Greta Homuth of Moorhead, who won in Humorous Interpretation in 2022, moves to Duo Interpretation where she will team up with Olivia Dahlberg. The three remaining champions all return in the same category: William Laudon of Rochester Mayo in Storytelling, Andrina Rockstad of Moorhead in Great Speeches and Cailin Mayotte of Eastview in Serious Interpretation of Prose.

The Class AA participants will compete on Friday, April 28 with three rounds in each of the 13 categories starting at 4:15 p.m. The evening concludes with a championship round at 9:30 p.m. An awards ceremony follows at approximately 10:45 p.m.

The Class A competition begins at 10:15 on Saturday morning with the final round at 3:30 p.m., and an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The entire event is free and open to the public.

For links to the schedule, results, and souvenir tournament program, please visit

Next Article

MSHSL Connect: April 2023