WAYNE — Both Hartington-Newcastle and Cedar Catholic competed at Wayne State College last week in District Speech competition, with the Wildcats earn District runner-up honors.
HNS students finished in the top three in six categories and those students will allo be moving on to the state competition Friday in Kearney.
There were no state qualifiers from Cedar.
“It was a really tough district with schools that have very good speech programs like Crofton, Plainview, Hartington-Newcastle,” said Cedar Coach Brad Hegemann. “So what it came down to in the end was judges preference, and I guess some judges just didn’t like some things we had.”
All of the HNS students advancing to the state competition will be heading there for their first time.
The Wildcats had two first place, two second place, and two third place finishes.
Freshman Sam Harms finished first in Entertainment Speaking with a speech he wrote himself about why he wishes he was short.
The other first-place finish was the Oral Interpretation of Drama team consisting of seniors Michaela Derickson, Ryley Eickhoff, Brody Eickhoff, Jacob Gothier, and Dayne Morten.
The students were happy to get through the big day.
“They were excited,” said HNS coach A.J. Johnson. “It’s a combination of excitement and relief. You put forth a season’s worth of work here, and you make it to finals, and your goal is to make it to state.”
Jacob Gothier and Dayne Morten will be competing in two categories at State, as they also received a second place finish in Duet Acting.
The duo plays two brothers. Johnson said the story starts off humorous and turns serious as it goes along.
Senior Lauren Hahne also received second in Persuasive Speaking for a speech she wrote about concerning taking a gap year between high school and college.
Lastly, seniors Michaela Derickson and Courtney Pick received third-place honors and also will be competing at state.
Derickson placed third in Serious Prose, while Pick placed in the Oral Interpretation of Poetry category.
The HNS team finished second merely 24 points behind District champion Crofton, and they look for a strong performance down in Kearney.
With no returning state qualifiers, the Wildcats may be in unfamiliar competition, but Johnson said he is not worried.
“The state competition is the same as any other competition that the students have had this year,” he said. “They should all do just fine.”