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The Mavericks are State Champions!

On Saturday, May 4, the Kiowa County High School Forensics team capped off an excellent 2019 season at the 1A State Championship Tournament and the Kansas State Festival, both held in Salina.

At State Champs, hosted at Salina Central High School, the Mavericks squared off against 38 other 1A teams from across Kansas, beginning with a 3-point lead after the first preliminary round and steadily increasing that lead during the rest of prelims, semifinals, and finals to win the State Championship with 353 points. Rosalia-Flint Hills was the State Runner-up with 239 points, and Pretty Prairie finished in 3rd Place as a team with 236 points. With a full team of entries, KC broke 14 of 16 events into the semifinals with 12 of those making it to Finals. Individual results are as follows:

PROSE: Ben Stewart - 6th Place, Regan Rhodes - 2nd Place; POETRY: Brecken VandenHoek - 5th Place, Regan Rhodes - 6th Place; SERIOUS SOLO ACTING: Camden VandenHoek - 4th Place; DUET ACTING - Brecken VandenHoek & Alex Friesen - 3rd Place, Eli Francis & Allison Kirby - 5th Place; IMPROVISATIONAL DUET ACTING: Ben Stewart & Braiden Merhoff - 3rd Place, Eli Francis & Alex Friesen - 4th Place; EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING: Ashlind Gumpenberger - 11st Place, Keith Gossman - 8th Place; IMPROMPTU SPEAKING: Ashlind Gumpenberger - 3rd Place; INFORMATIVE SPEAKING: Allison Kirby - 4th Place; ORIGINAL ORATION: Nathaniel Enfield - 5th Place. Colby Tedder also represented the Mavericks as a Champs alternate for both Duet Acting & Improvisational Duet Acting.

The Mavericks also took 10 events to the annual Kansas State Speech & Drama Festival at Kansas Wesleyan University, where the students faced some tough judges but returned some excellent results: Makenna Merhoff - 1 Rating in Prose & 1 Rating in Serious Solo Acting; Ellery McMurry - 2 Rating in Prose & 1 Rating in Informative Speaking; Gracie Gray - 3 Rating in Poetry; Ashton Reh - 1 Rating in Informative Speaking; Bo West - 2 Rating in Informative Speaking; Addi Heinson - 1 Rating in Informative Speaking; Parker Stauth - 2 Rating in Prose; Jaylene McKinley - 3 Rating in Prose. After performing, the Festival Mavericks served as official timekeepers at State Champs during the semifinal and final rounds.

Coach Kim McMurry stated: “I could not be more proud of these students, whether they competed at Champs or performed at Festival. They set some very high individual and team goals at the beginning of the season, and they worked hard to achieve every single one of them. I don’t know if they truly realize how gifted they are as performers and speakers, but I doubt they’ll ever forget our amazing 2019 State experience. We’re graduating 9 seniors, and we’ll definitely miss them, but we’ve got a lot to look forward to next season.” McMurry is assisted by Kim Stewart and Janet West.