Advisor Rebecca Sandager, Gretchen Keller, Preston Pflaum, Mickey Sullivan, Mackenzie Robinson, Karissa Wright and Lexi Bryngelson stand on the field of the Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play, they toured the entire stadium including the field, press box and locker rooms.
By Melanie Dobson
After making it to the state finals with fellow Triton BPA members, six students qualified to go on to the national competition. Mickey Sullivan, Mackenzie Robinson, Karissa Wright, Gretchen Keller, Lexi Bryngelson and Preston Pflaum with Triton business instructor and BPA advisor, Rebecca Sandager, took a trip to Indianapolis from April 29 to May 4.
Gretchen, Mackenzie, Karissa and Lexi were a TV news team, in the Broadcast News category. Preston Pflaum competed in Prepared Speech, and Mickey Sullivan was in Computer Network Technology.
Over 5,000 students from 23 states participated at Nationals.
The news team had a bit of a surprise.
"Going into our competition we were unaware that it was a timed event at nationals," Karissa Wright explained. "We had a few minutes to set up, 10 minutes to present and about three minutes to take down." But the girls were up for it and met the challenge head on.
"While this was a little bit of a challenge, because we didn't know it would be like that, prior to walking in and meeting the judges, we did very well!"
Indeed they did, the girls took 11th out of 46 teams in the nation! They were just one away from being able to go on stage for the award ceremony.
Another "oh so close!," was Preston in Prepared Speech. He took 13th place out of 44 students. The 12 top students were called back, so again, just one away. In matching wits with Computer Network Technology, Mickey placed 34 out of 57.
The group had the opportunity to unwind seeing the sights in Indianapolis and participating in a service event that raised money for the Special Olympics. They toured the Lucas Oil Stadium -home to the Colts, did a Segway tour of downtown, visited the state zoo, Indy Museum and the NCAA Hall of Champions.
"We were given so many opportunities to try and see new things," Mackenzie Robinson said. "The Segway tour was probably my favorite."
Karissa also enjoyed Indy and learned she had an accent. "Indianapolis was a really awesome experience! It was such a beautiful city with tons to do. Meeting other students from different states was super cool; I never realized we Minnesotans really talked that different from others!"
"The trip was an amazing experience with wonderful people," Mackenzie said. She thanked Ms. Sandager for all her hard work and support. "We would have been lost without her!"
Advisor Rebecca Sandager summed it up nicely. "I am so incredibly proud of these kids. I don't think that people realize how great of an accomplishment just even qualifying for Nationals truly is-let alone to compete and place one spot away from the top competitors. It's a huge deal for them, and it's a huge deal for Triton to be so well-represented by these amazing students-both during and away from competition."
Congratulations students and thank you for being such great ambassadors for our community.