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Headed to State

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Hartington-Newcastle wins another District speech title

BANCROFT — The Hartington-Newcastle High School speech team is taking its talking talents on the road to the State competition.

Hartington-Newcastle took home the District C2-2 speech contest championship March 7 at Bancroft-Rosalie High School, Bancroft.

The Wildcats sent every entry to finals, placed first in eight of the 10 events and roared to 328 points to win the District team title. Host Bancroft-Rosalie finished in second place with 146 points.

The top three finishers in each District event qualified for the 2023 Nebraska School Activities Association State Speech Championships.

“I’m happy for the kids who qualified,” Hartington-Newcastle speech coach A.J. Johnson said. “We’ve got a team that really worked hard for that moment and they performed incredibly well on District day.”

The Class C2 State speech competition is scheduled for March 16 at Kearney High School.

“I feel very happy to make it to State my senior year in both of the events that I do,” Hartington-Newcastle senior Alivia Morten said.

She qualified for the State speech contest this year in Duet Acting and Oral Interpretation of Drama.

“I am looking forward to performing for everyone at the State level and being on a bigger stage and competing against teams that we haven’t competed against this year,” Morten said.

The Wildcats had 13 entries and 15 students qualify for the State speech meet.

The District medal winners for Hartington- Newcastle were: -Duet Acting: Lane Heimes and Dayton Sudbeck, first; Alivia Morten and Lainey Morten, third.

-Entertainment Speaking: Alexus Hans, first; Cole Heimes, second.

-Extemporaneous Speaking: Emma Wubben, fourth.

-Humorous Prose: Carsen Hopping, first; Turner Dendinger, second.

-Informative Speaking: Kennedy Gotch, first; Hazel Hochstein, second.

-Oral Interpretation of Drama: Cole Heimes, Lane Heimes, Mani Lange, Alivia Morten and Dayton Sudbeck, first; Turner Dendinger, Dane Gotch, Carsen Hopping, Carter Kelly and Issac Santiago, second.

-Persuasive Speaking: Emma Wubben, fourth; Alexus Hans, fifth.

-Poetry: Ryell Haug, first; Kaylee Ptak, fourth.

-Program of Oral Interpretation: Kennedy Gotch, first; Trynity Zach, fifth.

-Serious Prose: Dane Gotch, first; Issac Santiago, fourth.

Alivia Morten noted she has been involved in speech her entire high school career and has qualified for the State contest in OID for three straight years.

“I have been involved because I enjoy being around all my friends and being able to perform for people and make them laugh, and just being able to entertain people,” Morten said.

“I like performing in OID because it is fun to work with other people and I enjoy being around my teammates,” she said.

She noted this year marks the first time she has taken part in Duet Acting.

“My partner is my cousin and she’s a freshman, so being able to be around her and perform with her my last year is really special to me,” Morten said.

The Wildcats – including Morten and fellow seniors Turner Dendinger, Lane Heimes and Carsen Hopping – are leaping into the Class C2 State speech competition as the defending champions.

Johnson noted the Wildcats were going to stick to a normal practice routine and continue to find as many ways to improve as possible before the State speech contest.

“If we can put together another good week of practice, it will give us a shot to have another good day in Kearney,” Johnson said.

“I’m excited for this group to compete,” he said. “They are a great group of kids and I’m glad that I get one more meet to coach them.”