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Forensics team grabs second at tournament

On Thursday, Jan. 24, the New Richmond High School forensics team placed second in an early-season eight-team tournament held at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

The team was edged out by Eau Claire Memorial and bypassed other prominent area programs, including Eau Claire Regis, Menomonie and St. Croix Falls.

Thirty-one students participated for the team, and out of 28 entries, 13 placed in the top six in various categories.

Replacing the annual UW-River Falls tournament in February, this tournament provided stiff competition earlier in the season than usual, with the practice tournament at Ellsworth still a week away.

Individual highlights were abundant.

Seniors Anne Kuenzie and Andrea Scheder placed first in Four Minute Speaking and Public Address, respectively.

Sophomore Krista Brusewitz also took home a first place award in Farrago.

Julia Britzius, also a sophomore, was rewarded with a second place finish in Solo Acting, and senior Ashley Umlauf took home a second place trophy in Moments in History to go along with her fourth place finish in Radio Speaking.

Third place finishes were scored by senior Nikki Goodrich in Prose, seniors Carrie Hubler and Jessica Dahlquist in Solo Acting and freshman Valerie Bruner in Storytelling.

Rounding out the award winners were sophomore Elise Deppe in Prose with a fourth place finish, senior Lindsey Novitzke in fifth place in Prose, senior Maria Nelson with fifth place in Radio Speaking, and sixth place for junior Hai Nguyen in Prose.

The team will be in action again on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Ellsworth Practice Tournament, a two-round tournament that possesses a goal of nourishing and enriching speakers and performers as they move into the heart of the tournament season.

From there, the team will host its home tournament on Feb. 16, and then travel to Baldwin-Woodville on Feb. 23, host a subdistrict competition at home on March 3, travel to Prescott on March 15, and then move on to Hudson on March 29 for the district competition.

Two of the last three competitions on the schedule will determine who qualifies for the state competition held in Madison April 18-19.

With a team of more than 50 consistent team contributors, Coach Jeff Ayer and Assistant Coach Dannette Tellijohn have high aspirations for their team. But with one prominent early-season finish, and a team that returns all but five from last year's Excellence in Speech Award winning team, a lot will be learned about this team's strength, and over a lengthier season, this team's stamina as well.