These five Minneota speech members competed in the virtual meet on Saturday. Left to right: Cora Fischer, Thomas Belaen, Wyatt Pohlen, Emma Lipinski and Katie Walerius.

Minneota 5th in speech meet opener

All five Viking competitors finish in top 4 in their category

The Minneota Speech team, which features all but one underclassmen this year, had an impressive showing on Saturday in what will be a virtual season.
Minneota placed fifth among 12 teams in the meet hosted by Worthington. Murray County Central finished first, Marshall second, River Valley third and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton fourth.
Minneota had five competitors for this first meet of the season. Emma Lipinski placed second in Great Speeches, Katie Walerius third in Original Oratory, Thomas Belaen third in Storytelling, Wyatt Pohlen third in Discussion, and Cora Fischer fourth in Great Speeches.
There were 90 individual entries in all from the 12 teams. After three rounds, awards were announced through a GoogleSlides slideshow.
"This meet was run as a live meet through SpeechWire," Minneota Coach Kim Gades explained. "Competitors came to school early Saturday morning. We were all a little nervous about how things would go. After side-stepping a few issues, things went pretty smoothly. Each competitor was sequestered to their own classroom to perform and watch their rounds."
Each school's team members tape their speech performances at their own school and then send them along to the judges, similar to a Zoom conference, due to the coronavirus restrictions put in place by the Minnesota State High School League. Meets will be held on Saturdays each week throughout the season.
Meets are held every Saturday throughout the season.

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