Nine Ely speakers going to state meet

by Tom Coombe

Ely will once again be well represented at the state high school speech competition.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves sent 10 speakers to state a year ago, and this Friday’s State Class A meet will include nine Ely speakers.<BR><BR>That was assured after the Wolves turned in a solid second-place showing at the April 2 Section 7A competition at Hermantown.<BR><BR>Three Ely seniors won section championships and head the local contingent that will compete in the state event at Centennial High School, located in Circle Pines.<BR><BR>Brian Kess topped the field in the Humorous division, Raychal Zupancich was first in Drama and Kai Bowen earned the gold medal in Great Speeches.<BR><BR>Kess and Zupancich teamed up a year ago to win the section title in Dramatic Duo last year, and both captured individual championships this time around.<BR><BR>Six other Ely speakers were in the top three of their respective categories, good enough to land a spot in the state meet.<BR><BR>Joe Manlove placed second in Discussion for the Wolves and won a second straight state appearance in the process, while Sarah Myers was the runner-up in Informative and also a second-time state qualifier.<BR><BR>Ely also picked up a state berth and second-place finish in Original Oratory, as Amanda Cowden returns to state for a second straight spring.<BR><BR>Ely’s Ashley Harris placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking and won a second consecutive state bid.<BR><BR>Also placing third and advancing to state are Anne Kellerman (Prose) and Jesse Schlosser (Drama).<BR><BR>Finishing just out of the running for a state bid, but advancing as alternates were:<BR><BR>• Jaydin Clouse, sixth place, Creative Expression;<BR><BR>• Jake Dahlin, fifth place, Discussion;<BR><BR>• Megan Forthman and Julie Anderson, fifth place, Dramatic Duo;<BR><BR>• Katie Spangler, sixth place, Great Speeches;<BR><BR>• John Crane, fifth place, Humorous;<BR><BR>• Caleb Cowden, sixth place, Informative;<BR><BR>• Maren Gotchnik, fifth place, Drama;<BR><BR>• Mike Jamnick, sixth place, Poetry.<BR><BR>The Ely delegation leaves Thursday for the state meet.