Thursday, April 26, 2018
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Swedes runner-up at districts

Nine speech team members qualify.

Two weeks ago, the Swedes were neck and neck with Minden going into finals at the Southwest Conference speech meet.


They won, by 19 points.


At the B-5 district meet on March 12, Minden squeaked by the Swedes with a mere two- point lead to take the crown.

“It was a heartbreaker,” said speech team adviser Dan Jensen.

But the biggest disappointment, Jensen said, was having four Swedes place fourth and just out of qualifying range for the Nebraska State Speech Championships at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Thursday.

“I don’t want that to overshadow the success this team has had this year and how hard the students worked to get ready for district competition,” he said.

Nine out of 17 Gothenburg competitors qualified for Class B state competition in seven events with two individuals, and an oral interpretation of drama team, taking gold.

Last year, the Swedes won the district crown and qualified 13 students in 11 events.

Across the board, Jensen said the team competed well and he couldn’t identify a time when students failed to do their best.

At the district meet, however, he said a lot of little things didn’t “swing our way” in how events were judged.

“In the end, those little things added up to make a big difference,” Jensen said.

Minden ended up with 134 points to Gothenburg’s 132.

Rounding out the point field were Aurora, 84; Grand Island Northwest, 69; Adams Central, 69; Broken Bow and Holdrege, 53; and Cozad 40.

Individually, Jon Rehmert took first in extemporaneous speaking and Abbie Mazour won serious prose.

The oral interpretation of drama team, made up of Rebecca Miller, Rachel Rice, Kennedy Wahlgren and Ashley Wilkerson also won gold with a piece entitled “Oz.”

Second-place medals went to Madison Costello in informative speaking, Wilkerson in extemporaneous speaking, Mazour in humorous prose and Carlin Daharsh in poetry.

Drake Brand received third in humorous prose.

Looking ahead to state competition, Jensen said the Swedes have a good chance of breaking into finals.

“Our kids are not new to high stakes competition and I think

they will handle the pressure just fine,” he said.

As a team, however, he said students have their work cut out for them.

“With our smaller number of qualifiers, the name of the game will be to get a higher proportion into finals than we typically do in order to be in the running for a top team position,” he said.

The biggest contender in the class is Omaha Skutt, Jensen said, which qualified 16 events in its district.

Other strong competition will likely come from Gering, Omaha Marion, Norris and Minden, he said.

Other medalists at last week’s district event included:

Persuasive speaking

4. Madison Costello, 5. Jon Rehmert

Informative speaking

4. Carlin Daharsh

Entertainment speaking

4. Amanda Kowalewski, 6. Rebecca Miller

Serious prose

4. Betsy Potter


6. Morgan Kowalewski

Duet acting

5. Drake Brand and Brett Mann, 6. Carlie Stevens and Kayla Trevino

Also competing was an oral interpretation team of Morgan Kowalewski, Alayna Collins, Amanda Larson, Brett Mann and Carlie Stevens.

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