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Speech State Tournament 2024: Class A Recap

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2024 - 8:55 PM

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Drew Pundsack of Melrose Area and Pahwa Yang of Mounds Park Academy both earned their second gold medals and third medals overall at the 2024 Class A Speech State Meet. Pundsack earned his second crown in Creative Expression, and Yang defended her title in Serious Interpretation of Prose. Pundsack earned his first gold medal in 2022.

Amelia Brower of Melrose Area and Nick Long of Chatfield were first-time champions this year but also went home with their third medals overall. Brower won in Informative Speaking, and Long captured top honors in Storytelling.

The other 2024 champions are: Zachary Dietz of Morris Area in Discussion; Bella Rieff and Michael Schultz of Belle Plaine in Duo Interpretation; Claire Woller of Minnesota Valley Lutheran in Extemporaneous Reading; Paul Fertig of Mounds Park Academy in Extemporaneous Speaking; Mikayla Zirbes of Melrose Area in Great Speeches; Leon Yang of Fairmont in Humorous Interpretation; Alayna Haefner of Fairmont in Original Oratory; Savanna Loken of Cotter Schools in Serious Interpretation of Drama; and Gavin Eischens of St. Clair in Serious Interpretation of Poetry.

Eight of this year’s champions were successful in earning their second medals: Dietz of Morris Area; Rieff and Schultz of Belle Plaine; Woller of Minnesota Valley Lutheran; Zirbes of Melrose Area; Haefner of Fairmont; Loken of Winona Cotter; and Eischens of St. Clair.

Including Pundsack and Pahwa Yang, four of last year’s seven defending champions were successful in striking gold for a second time. Loken of Winona Cotter earned her second title in Serious Interpretation of Drama and Eischens of St. Clair defended his crown in Serious Interpretation of Poetry. 

The remaining returning champions also competed in the same categories. Akshay Somayajula of Mounds Park Academy, who won in Great Speeches in 2022, earned runner-up honors this year, and Rebecca Copeman of Chatfield, who was the two-time defending champion in Humorous Interpretation, placed fourth. Rowan Mulrooney of Mounds Park Academy, the reigning champion in Informative Speaking, did not qualify for this year’s finals. 

In the team sweepstakes, Mounds Park Academy came out on top with 53 points and two gold medals. Melrose Area and Fairmont placed second and third, respectively. 

This year’s event was held at Shakopee High School on Friday, April 19, 2024. 

Complete results are posted here: 2024 Speech Results  


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Speech State Tournament 2024: Class AA Recap