On Saturday, Jan. 26, Pratt High Forensics began their season with a strong second place against 15 other teams at Kingman's Invitational Tournament.
Second only to powerhouse Pretty Prairie, a small but mighty 1A team which regularly gets to finals, Pratt beat Hutchinson High School, a 6A team which made it to third place, as well as league teams — Nickerson, Hesston, Sterling — and others.
After attending state debate two weeks earlier, senior Anna Stotts and junior Sidney Harrison both received gold medals, and both qualified for state champs with their wins. Harrison earned first with her informative speech about the importance of names, while Stotts received gold for her oration over why we should all lighten up and laugh more.
Garnering more laughs for the high school, the surprise of the day came when Delaney Skaggs, a novice competitor, teamed up with Lauren Voss in her second year of forensics, to earn third in finals. The two sophomores had never competed together in their Improvised Duet Acting (IDA) until today, but with their third-place finish they earned a spot for competing at state festival.
Also making it into finals, Adele Loomis made it to third in both oration and extemporaneous speaking. In a heart-breaking, three-way tie in oration finals, Loomis narrowly missed qualifying for state champs by one point against Pretty Prairie, but with one point over Ellinwood when the three-way tie was split (72-71-70 quality points). She hopes to qualify in next week's Sterling meet, however.
Also in finals was Anna Stryker, a sophomore competing with an informative speech about Sallie's House in Atchison, a regional "haunted" house.
Finally, the team would not have made it to their strong second place finish without Caleb Hitz and Taylor Moreland in Duet; Cambry Schrag and Miranda Flemming in Oration; Dorothy Housworth-Hamilton in Extemporaneous Speaking, Sammie Harrison, Taylor Willard, Flemming, and Moreland in IDA; Elee Hampton, Rebekkah Wald, and Schrag in Prose; and Stotts, Wald, Voss, and Samantha Harrison in Poetry.