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MHS student state speech champ; two others place at meet

Three Mitchell High School students placed at the state speech and debate tournament in Aberdeen this weekend.

Mason Wenzel took home first place in domestic extemporaneous speaking, Emmy Smith took third in foreign extemporaneous speaking and Matt Schilling took fifth in original oratory.

"I'm not surprised they did well. Each of them has won a lot of awards throughout the year," said Ron Grimsley, head coach.

"Emmy and Mason qualified to go to the national tournament last weekend," he said. "It was nice to see them finish strong."

Wenzel and Smith each had 30 minutes to prepare for their extemporaneous speeches, Grimsley said.

Schilling's original oratory is an eight- to 10-minute speech he wrote and delivered from memory, according to his coach.

Three other students from the MHS speech and debate team, Jean VanDriel, Sofi Kristensen and Lucas Bartel, attended the state meet, but did not place.

Grimsley said he is proud of all his students who attended the state meet. They had stiff competition against top-rated teams like Watertown and Sioux Falls.

Wenzel, a sophomore, and Schilling, a junior, will return to the team next year, but for Smith, a senior, this was her last round.

"It's been a wonderful year. We've seen a lot of progress and success and I've enjoyed it," Grimsley said.