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District 196 students win three titles and 28 total medals in state speech
District 196 students win three titles and 28 total medals in state speech

District 196 students won three of 13 state championships and 28 of the 104 total medals awarded at this year’s Class AA state speech tournament held at Eastview High School April 28. Eastview also hosted the Class A tournament April 29.  

Medals are awarded for places one through eight in the final round of each of the 13 categories of competition at the state tournament. In the team sweepstakes, Apple Valley High School finished runner-up to Moorhead High School and Eastview and Eagan High School finished in third and fourth place, respectively, among all Class AA schools with students participating in the tournament.

Apple Valley High School students won 12 total medals, including state champions Lydia Voss in original oratory and Sophie Green in informative speaking. Eastview students won eight total medals, including state champion Sahiti Atluri in creative expression. Eagan students also won eight total medals.

State runners-up are Mfaz Mohamed Ali of Apple Valley in original oratory, and Cailin Mayotte of Eastview in prose reading.

Third-place medals were awarded to Eagan students Olma Wakjira in poetry reading and Lauren Steenberg in storytelling; Allie Nathan of Eastview in extemporaneous speaking, and Wayne Southwell of Apple Valley in prose reading.

District 196 students who medaled in places four through eight are as follows:

  • 4th Place – Three medals: Apple Valley students Lucinda Standafer in dramatic interpretation and Emily Melville and Hibaq Hassan in duo interpretation, and Faye Zhang of Eastview in extemporaneous speaking.
  • 5th Place – Nine medals: Apple Valley students Connor Smith in dramatic interpretation, Ellie Stumbo in informative speaking, Hoda Husen in original oratory, Fadumo Dolal in poetry reading and Lane Dehnel in prose reading; Eagan students Beau Williams and Pierce Brown in duo interpretation, and Jada Lapastora in storytelling, and Eastview students Ava Violette in extemporaneous reading and Rhea Saarang in great speeches.
  • 6th Place – Three medals: Eagan students Anastasia Koch in extemporaneous speaking and Jeune Hagape in prose reading, and Neal Rajvansh of Eastview in informative speaking.
  • 7th Place – Two medals: Sophie Todaro of Apple Valley in humorous interpretation and Zoe Champ of Eastview in storytelling.
  • 8th Place – Two medals: Eagan students Adelaide Adu-Gyamfi in dramatic interpretation and Hadassah Owens in original oratory.

A total of 54 District 196 students qualified for 49 spots at this year’s state tournament and the 30 named above advanced to the final round in their category to earn medals. 

In the history of the state speech tournament through 2022, Apple Valley ranks first in the number of state champions all time, with 92 in its 47-year history (opened in 1976); Eagan is second with 70 state champions in its 33-year history (opened in 1990), and Eastview is in the top 10 schools with 30 state champions in its 26-year history (opened in 1997). Since 1976, students from these three District 196 schools have won nearly one-third of all state championships awarded in speech (188 of 611 total state champions in 47 years, with 13 events per year). Apple Valley and Eagan also rank first and second in total medals won all time, with 429 and 340, respectively, and Eastview ranks fifth with 168 state speech medals.

The head coaches for speech in District 196 are Dan Hodges at Apple Valley, Ross Eichele at Eagan, Ryan Roseen at Eastview and Brandon Fisher at Rosemount.