For the first time in close to a decade, Pratt High Forensics catapulted 15 events into a finals round of competition, and this stellar showing at Sterling's tournament brought the team a first place win with 275 points over second place Hutch Trinity with 252 points and over third place Smokey Valley with 150.
In the past several years, while Pratt High has won many tournaments, 12 events were the most the team has brought into finals until this past week.
Additionally, despite combatting a wintry morning on Saturday, Feb. 1st, the team traveled to Sterling to earn seven qualifiers for state championships and three for state festival.
Receiving gold medals and qualifying for champs were "The Laurens" in Improvised Duet Acting (juniors Lauren Voss and Lauren Beardsley) and junior Zach Stone in Informative Speaking. Also, junior Courtney Blankenship repeated her first place win in serious solo, after her strong win at Wichita's Kapaun Mt. Carmel the week earlier.
Winning second place and earning champs qualifying places were the following: seniors Garrett Johnston and Dustin McGraw in Improvised Duet Acting, senior Sidney Harrison in Humorous Solo, juniors Caleb Hitz and Stone in Duet Acting, and sophomore Katie Buhler in Informative Speaking.
Qualifying for festival, Harrison also earned third place in Poetry, with juniors Jacob Schaefer in Poetry and Voss in Prose echoing that same placement.
Medaling for the team, and contributing substantial points to Pratt's first place win, were more finalists. Buhler also received third place for Extemporaneous Speaking, and Hitz earned third for his informative speech, while juniors Chloe Cannata in Oration and Joshua Ash in Extemporaneous Speaking brought home fourth place medals. In fifth place, also speaking extemporaneously, was Schaefer.
Finally, younger team members and sophomores — Hazen Hance, Sienna Swinford, Kelcy Koster, Cassie Van Slyke, Hailee Colerick, and Charity Violetti — all brought home strong points in a variety of events.
With such a strong start to the season, Pratt High Forensics now turns to hosting its home tournament on Feb. 8th, which will be followed by a very competitive week where the team will travel in various groups to Valley Center's novice tourney, to Medicine Lodge, and to South Central.