River Valley Speech State qualifiers (l to r): Coach Gigi Bliss, Kiera Lafferty, Lily Pingeon, Leo Hovland, Sarah Kottke, Lily Kallevig, Coach Brianna Jensen.

River Valley Speech sends five to State


The River Valley speech team earned fourth place in the MSHSL Region 2 Section tournament on Friday, April 14 at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School in Janesville. 

Ten River Valley speakers competed with seven speakers receiving medals for placing in the top six in their categories.  Coming in as second place runner-ups were senior, Sarah Kottke in the category of dramatic interpretation, as well as the duo interpretation team of eighth grader, Leo Hovland and freshman, Lily Pingeon. Sophomore, Lily Kallevig earned third place for extemporaneous reading. The category of prose had three of the River Valley speakers receive special recognition: junior, Kiera Lafferty earned third place, freshman, Aubree Paplow received 5th place and senior, Brenna Pabst received 6th. 

The speakers receiving third place or higher honors of each category will advance to the MSHSL Class A State Speech tournament, which will be held on Saturday, April 29 at Eastview High School in Apple Valley.  The 2023 State Class A speech tournament will be Sarah Kottke’s third state appearance and the second state appearance for Leo Hovland, Lily Pingeon and Kiera Lafferty. While, it will be the first state appearance for Lily Kallevig. For more information regarding the MSHSL State speech tournament, visit the website at: www.mshsl.org.

This year’s River Valley Speech team consisted of sixteen students from Springfield Public School, nine students from Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s School and one student from Sleepy Eye Public School and was led by head coach, Brianna Jensen and assistant coach, Gigi Bliss.

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