Alex Long is featured here after winning his category at state last year. Long is the only Byron student to ever place first in a state speech competition. Photo submitted
By David Richards
They're hoping for state.
Fifteen Byron High School speech students will compete among the section's best on April 5 at Byron High School.
The top three in each of the 13 categories advance to the state competition to be held April 11-12 at Blaine High School.
Fifteen to 18 schools are expected to compete at the section meet.
Pamela Tvedt, head Byron speech coach, said she was pleased that 15 of her students qualified for the section meet from subsections.
"This is amazing," she said. "This has been a really good year. The kids have been working hard, so it's fun to see them getting the recognition for their hard work."
The 15 who qualified for the section meet include two state qualifiers from 2013. Senior Alex Long was Byron's first ever state speech champion last year, competing in the extemporaneous reading category, while Margaret Silhasek qualified last year as a junior in informative speaking. Other Byron section qualifiers include: Sam Haefner (creative expression); Shannon McCollough (creative expression); Kristina Krook (drama); Sarah Orth (drama); Erika Miller (drama); Matthew Sigrist (extemporaneous reading); Justine Schneider (original oratory); Regina Burroughs (original oratory); Audrey Johannes (discussion); Janini Ranatunga (story telling); Sydney Holets, (serious poetry); Kristin Blom, (serious prose) and Jill Gelle (serious prose).