For the first time in school history, the Wayne High speech team claimed the Mid State Conference championship.
The Blue Devil speech team won a close team competition Saturday at Battle Creek, claiming there first-place awards and a slew of other medals to take the team title.
“Our conference is notoriously competitive in speech,” coach Dwaine Spieker said. “We regularly see Mid State kids not just at the state tournament, but in the state finals. You don't just show up and win the Mid State speech tournament.”
Spieker said it was a total team effort that helped Wayne claim the first-place trophy.
“All of our kids — but especially our seniors — brought the hammer today,” Spieker said. “Their hard work of the last three months paid off in a big team victory.”
With 283 points, Wayne finished 10 points ahead of runner-up Battle Creek in the team competition, followed by Pierce (271), Crofton (263), and Boone Central (258).
Senior Jack Osnes led the Wayne contingent with a win in Serious Prose and a second in Humorous Prose.
Other top individual placers for the Blue Devils were junior Maura Loberg, who won the highest medal of her career by finishing first in Informative; and senior Megan Keiser, who brought home top honors in Humorous Prose. By placing first, all three champions were named to the Mid-State All-Conference Speech Team.
Other individual medalists for Wayne included senior Grace Heithold, third in Poetry; the Duet Acting team of seniors Jaci Torres and Sarah Wibben, fourth; senior Miranda Fehringer, fourth in Persuasive; senior Colton Spahr, fourth in Extemporaneous; and freshman Christopher Woerdemann, fifth in Extemporaneous.
Spieker added that the scoring system for conference differs from a regular competition.
“In a typical meet, only the finalists score points for the team. But at conference, where the district format is used, scoring is based more on the number of Superiors earned by all team members, whether they made finals and medaled or not. This essentially means that anyone who opened his or her mouth representing Wayne High today helped win this championship. This is truly a team award.”
Wayne finishes its regular season Saturday at the Norfolk Panther Invite before competing in districts at Columbus Lakeview on Monday, March 12.