A season of near perfection
     2016-02-19      By Allie Mekolon    editor@geringcitizen.com
Kai Didier/Scottsbluff Journalism Katelyn Thompson performs a Serious Prose piece “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” during preliminary rounds at the 37th Gering Invite. Thompson placed first in her Champions Round during the meet on Jan. 23.  
Katelyn Thompson, a Scottsbluff senior, has had a successful speech career since she joined the Bearcat speech team her sophomore year. Thompson competes in Serious Prose, and Oral Interpretation of Drama.

This season, Thompson has placed with her Serious Prose piece “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” at all five meets, placing second twice and first place three times. She also scored a perfect day at the Perkins County meet – the only speech competitor to do so – placing first and ranking 50, in all of her rounds. This is an extremely rare phenomenon for a speech member. Thompson and her coach Whitney Gipe are proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish this season.

“I was proud of Katelyn, but of course, I didn’t want it going to her head. I encouraged her to keep practicing, and not to get comfortable,” Gipe said.

Thompson is grateful for the time Gipe puts into working with her.

“My coach and I work very well together, and I’m honored to have such an amazing coach to share all my hard work and accomplishments with,” Thompson said.

These accomplishments started Thompson’s sophomore year, when she won the novice meet, meaning only first-year members competed. Thompson said she had no idea what speech was until her teacher Todd Menghini encouraged her to join. A week later, she held up her first place medal.

Ironically, Thompson said there are no secrets to winning.

“I wouldn’t say there is a trick or key to success, honestly. I go in there (a round) with confidence, knowing that I’m doing what I love for the Lord and for my team,” Thompson said.

Thompson holds onto the memories of meeting several other speech competitors, and getting to know the members on her team.

“I am now best friends with some of the teammates that I never knew I had so much in common with,” Thompson said. She enjoys the team’s tradition of going out to eat together after every meet.

Thompson also takes pride in how well the Bearcat team has done this season.

“My team has done very well this season. We worked hard and came together to chase hard after our dream of bringing home a sweepstakes championship,” said Thompson, referring to the Gordon-Rushville first place trophy the team won early this season.

Last season, Thompson was named Western Conference and District Serious Prose champion. This season, her overall goal is to make it to the state meet.

“My main goal I’ve had all season is to go to state and final, so I can represent the Scottsbluff Bearcats,” Thompson said.

Several colleges have invited Thompson to speak, but she hasn’t decided what she wants to do yet.

On Feb. 13, Thompson went with her team to North Platte, where they participated in the Blue and Gold Speech Tournament. The team went up against other Class A teams. The Bearcats don’t usually see such stiff competition in west Nebraska, or the caliber of team at their district meet.

Mitchell and Minatare’s speech teams attended the Kimball Longhorn Invite, where Mitchell took fifth.

Blue and Gold Tournament Results

Katelyn Thompson, Serious Prose, 2nd

Nikki Mobley, Serious Prose, 10th

Emily Ostdiek, Persuasive, 1st

Samuel Willis, Persuasive, 7th

Samuel Willis, Entertainment, 11th

Paige Corr and James Benitez, Duet Acting, 5th

Hailey Andrews, Ty Corr, Taylor Yarnell, Ashlynn Haun, Rebecca Weis, OID, 6th

Paige Corr, Katelyn Thompson, Nikki Mobley, Hunter Scow, OID, 7th

Emily Andrews, Novice Poetry, 4th

Kyle Henderson, Novice Informative, 5th

Jatin Cranmore, Novice Informative, 6th

Kimball Invite Results

Ashley Jackson and Hannah Plasencio, Mitchell, Duet Acting, 4th

Kielan Carlson, Mitchell, Serious Prose, 1st

Hannah Plasencio, Mitchell, Serious Prose, 4th

Ashley Jackson, Mitchell, Serious Prose, 6th

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