Speech sets record

Keaton Maier, A&E Editor

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After weeks of preparation, Xavier individual speech members hit success with a record-setting showing at the Individual Event State Speech Festival held on March 10 at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. Nineteen students performed 26 acts, 21 of which received a Division I rating and were eligible for an All-State nomination. The Xavier speech program received seven individual event All-State nominations, breaking the school’s previous record of six. Nominees were seniors August Helgeson for poetry, Jaden Henley for both acting and reviewing, Ethan Lowder for spontaneous speaking, and Rylee Wegmann for prose; and sophomores Nicole Constant for acting and Haley Cummings for public address.

“I feel very proud to be selected and am excited to show others this meaningful speech again at All-State,” Cummings said.

Individual speech differs greatly from large group speech. Each contains different categories as well as different preparation. In many cases, individual speech members are tasked with writing their own script. Additionally, individual speech occurs on a much shorter timeline, with less than half the time to prepare before showcase as large group. However, individual speech members are able to practice much more often on their own time.

“Individual events take much more self-discipline, dedication, and hard work at home, when compared to large group events,” speech coach Lisa Streif said. “Having a record number of students make it to All-State is a great testament to the determination and drive of these outstanding performers!”

According to Streif, the hard work involved with speech can put off a lot of students. However, many find great value in the activity that keeps them coming back.

“I do speech because I really like performing and acting. You can do so many different topics and tell different stories with speech,” Wegmann said. “Doing speech was probably one of the best choices I ever made.”

All-State nominees performed at the Individual Event All-State Speech Festival on March 26 at the University of Northern Iowa.

Keaton Maier 

A&E Editor

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