Swedes win District B6 speech crown
Win No. 10 for coach Jensen.
After a nail biter two weeks ago at the Southwest Conference speech meet, it was déjà vu all over again Thursday.
Once totals were tallied, however, the Swedes were District B6 champions with 206 points.
Gering, who won the title last year, was a mere 11 points behind with 195 followed by Ogallala with 180 points.
Seven Swedes in nine events, qualified for state (see box) as medalists finishing in the top three.
The Nebraska State Speech Championships at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is Thursday.
“The (district) win was huge for our kids,” said Swede speech coach Dan Jensen. “In my opinion, this is one of the toughest districts in this class.
“Gering had been cleaning house all year out west so they were definitely the ones to beat.”
The district win is the 10th for Jensen in his 18 years at GHS.
Jensen said the win could have swung either way as the last two events ended.
“We had 15 finalists to Gering’s 13 but qualified the same number of kids for state as Gering,” he explained.
Although excited, Jensen described the win as a bittersweet mix.
“What makes it tough is that there are other (Swede competitors) who worked just as hard who didn’t make the cut,” he said. “ I know it isn’t any different with any other activity and I suppose it’s a good life lesson. It’s just a tough lump to swallow initially.”
After winning the sweepstakes award at every regular-season meet, SWC and districts, state competition will be formidable.
The state team will be challenged by three teams in particular, Jensen said.
Omaha Skutt is returning state champion with 16 entries. He said many of their qualifiers have had state experience.
Jensen said Omaha Marion, that placed fourth at state last year, returns with 11 qualifiers.
“The combination of Skutt and Marion closed out their district so there has to be some power
there,” he said.
Gretna, with 16 qualifiers, placed fifth in Class A last year and dropped to Class B this year.
The Swedes qualified nine people in eight events last year and finished fifth in Class B.
To get ready for state, the coach said subtle changes will be made to some events.
“We’ll also work on the mental aspects of state competition,” Jensen said. “Kids have to prepare with a healthy dose of respect for quality competition but must be prepared to step up
Other schools competing in the B6 district were Chadron, Sidney, Alliance, Cozad and McCook.
Gothenburg was district runnerup to Minden last year.
District medalists included:
3. Kayla Trevino, 4. Ashley Wilkerson
1. Carlin Daharsh, 5. Alayna Collins
1. Kylee Beyea, 5. Kelsey Kuhlman
1. Alayna Collins, 2. Dylan France
2. Dylan France
1. Abbie Mazour, 5. Betsy Potter
1. Carlin Daharsh
2. Kayla Trevino and Drake Langley, 6. Drake Brand and Brett Mann
Oral interpretation of drama
4. Kylee Beyea, Gage Taylor, Trenton Long, Georgina Dishman, Sara Picci
Also competing were Mazour in humorous prose, Potter in poetry and an oral interpretation of drama team of Langley, Jett Seimer, Rebecca Riley, Rachel Rice, Ashley Wilkerson.