A 2nd and 3rd at state speech

THIS YEAR’S TAHS state speech participants were, front, from left: Kaylee Campbell, Jenna Spanovich. Back, from left: Marissa Johnson, Delaynie Meyer, Annaka Hook. Submitted photo

Campbell, Spanovich place in Top 3

By Per Peterson

The Tracy Area High School virtual speech season concluded Saturday, as five students competed at the state meet.

Kaylee Campbell finished second in Great Speeches, and Jenna Spanovich took third in Prose. Others competing at state were Delaynie Meyer (Poetry), Annaka Hook (Informative Speaking) and Marissa Johnson (Creative Expression).

“Earning second at state is a dream come true,” said Campbell, a junior. “When I first joined speech, I thought that finalling at state (making the Top 8) was impossible, much less placing at the top, but five years later and my goal has been accomplished. It still feels surreal, but I could not be prouder of my teammates and my speech family. I am so excited for next season.”

Spanovich said because of the circumstances this year, the recent state competition was a bit underwhelming compared to a normal year where the participants would all gather at a high school and compete in person. She also experienced some technical difficulties, which was not unheard of this season.

“I was still very excited to be competing though,” she said. “I know that all the competitors there are very good, so I was not expecting to break finals or place. I felt good about my first three performances, but experienced some technical difficulties in my third round — my computer froze while I was performing, so I had to restart when I finally got back into the competition ‘room.’

Spanovich said waiting to find out who qualified for the championship round was nerve-wracking. And despite having to do things virtually, she was excited to know that family and friends could watch.

“I felt good about my final performance, so I really was not concerned with how well I placed,” she said. “I was just happy to have met my goals for the day and was proud of my performances. Placing third at the state tournament makes participating in such a weird season absolutely worth it. This is my last year on the team, and I had never made it to state before, so I am just glad my hard work paid off and I could compete this season to see how far I could go.”