Three speakers from the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Speech Team competed Saturday in the last tournament of the season, with one speaker earning a medal.

The Minnesota State High School League Class A Tournament was hosted virtually. The top 24 speakers in each category competed in three preliminary rounds and the top eight speakers advanced to the final round.

Sophomore Katelyn Delost competed in the category of Creative, where she advanced to the final round. Delost placed seventh overall and took home her first state medal. This was her second state appearance.

Sophomore Lily Pedersen competed in Humor and senior Logan Wales in Drama.

While the other speakers on the team will be returning next year, one speaker has competed in his final high school tournament. Wales is the only senior on the team and also the team captain. He joined the team as a seventh-grader in the category of Storytelling.

Between 10th- and 12th-grade Wales switched back and forth between Drama and Prose, and eventually landed on Drama. He was a strong competitor all season and advanced to state for the first time this year. Logan has been a dedicated member of the Walker Talkers since he first joined the team in middle school. He also participated in robotics and the school play. He worked hard to improve his performance every year and was a positive role model for younger speakers.

Next year Wales plans to attend The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Even though state level competition has ended, one WHA speaker still has two competitions left. Lily Pedersen qualified for the NSDA National Speech Tournament in June. She will also be competing in The National Individual Events Tournament of Champions. The national qualification also qualified her for the NIETOC tournament.

Now that the season has concluded, on behalf of the WHA coaches, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this season possible. First, thank you to all the speakers on every team who were willing to compete this season in a completely different format. We appreciate your dedication and willingness to keep the activity alive. Thank you to the parents and guardians who supported their speakers in all the ways we as coaches could not. Thank you to all of the coaches who made the adjustments to keep the competition alive virtually — this was not an easy task. Finally, thank you to all of the technology departments who provided the necessary equipment and knowledge needed to keep our speakers online.

I would like to extend a personal thank you to Barb Jaggard and Tanner Stanko from the WHA Technology Department for being more than accommodating with equipment. We would not have succeeded without your support.

Thank you to community members and alumni for your monetary support, including Bev and Joe Jorland. Thank you all for supporting our team, and we will see you next year!

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