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Gering wins district B-6 speech meet
March 18, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Courtesy photo The Gering High district championship speech team is, front row from left: Tegan Murdock, Allie Baird, Carsyn Long, Devan Hawkins, Sheridan Blanco, Hadley Kirk, and Becky Boyd; middle: Sydney Havengar, Danika Atchison, Sam Powers, and Nellie Kirk; back row: Head Coach Tyler Thompson, Collin Potts, Jake Hansen, Nathan Prohs, Keagan Heilbrun, Dawson Johns, Jim Eastman, and Assistant Coaches Andy, Stobel, and Kristian Schank. Qualifying members will be at the State Meet in Kearney on Wednesday.

It was a long day on March 14 at Gering High School as they hosted three different district speech divisions, keeping speakers and judges busy from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Competing in the B-6 district, Gering performed “wonderfully” according to Speech Coach Tyler Thompson, taking the championship with 386 team points. Gothenburg was the district runner-up with 358 points. Eight schools competed: Gering, Chadron, Alliance, Sidney, Ogallala, McCook, Cozad and Gothenburg.

“We’re a pretty big district, so there’s a ton of diversity with the teams,” Thompson said. “We also hosted districts C1-6 and C2-6 and each of those had eight teams each. We had 24 teams here competing in three separate district tournaments.”

Gering speakers won six of the nine events in the B-6 tourney and will send 10 speakers to compete in nine entries at the state tournament, on March 23 in Kearney. Two entries qualified for state in Persuasive Speaking, two entries in Poetry, and one entry each for Informative Speaking, Entertainment, Serious Prose, Duet Acting and Oral Interpretation of Drama.

“Fifteen of our 18 total entries ended up in the finals,” Thompson said. “We also had several fourth places where kids missed going to state by just a few points.”

Three of the team’s champions are seniors this year. Devan Hawkins competes in Serious Prose. Allie Baird, competing in Poetry, placed first and second at districts and has gone to the state tournament twice. Collin Potts will compete in Persuasive Speaking.

“It was gratifying to see Collin not just qualify but win,” Thompson said. “He finished fourth last year at districts and just missed qualifying for state.”

Another standout was senior Hadley Kirk, who placed third in Persuasive Speaking in her first year.

Gering speakers at the B-6 district tournament included Becky Boyd in first and Carsyn Long fifth in Entertainment Speaking. Collin Potts was first and Hadley Kirk third in Persuasive Speaking. In Serious Prose, Devan Hawkins was first and Tanner Walker finished sixth. Tanner Walker was also sixth in Humorous Prose and Keegan Heilbrun finished fifth. Becky Boyd took first in Informative Speaking and Nellie Kirk was in fourth. Allie Baird was in first for Poetry and Tegan Murdock was second. Dawson Johns and Sydney Havengar were third Duet Acting. In the Oral Interpretation of Drama event, the first place team was Carsyn Long, Allie Baird, Keegan Heilbrun, Devan Hawkins and Collin Potts. Finishing in fourth was the team of Dawson Johns, Jim Eastman, Sheridan Blanco, Sydney Havengar and Nathan Prohs.
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