Looking Back on the Minnesota State Speech Tournament


Amiya Kokate (11) with family at the Minnesota state speech tournament.

Faizaan Amanat, Senior Staff Writer

  When students had the day off on April 12th, the Wayzata High School speech team hosted the state speech tournament for the first time in team history.
  The competitors placed high at national level tournaments, making Minnesota’s state tournament almost a second tier national level tournament. Head Coach Jerrod Nelson said that hosting the tournament was “a great experience that was able to show off our team and school to the rest of the state.”
  The state rotates the host site every two years, so WHS will host the tournament again next April. “We act essentially as a proxy for the state,” said Nelson. “It’s a state level tournament, but all of the money made goes to us.”
  Given the magnitude of the tournament, running an efficient day is always a concern for head coaches, especially this year, considering that there was a snowstorm the day before. “The tournament was going to happen regardless,” said Nelson. “The state said that the tournament would stay on schedule and that teams should plan accordingly. Some teams got in Wednesday and Thursday so that they could compete.”
  Apart from hosting, Wayzata found success in the competition with junior Aarohi Shah placing second in the state for extemporaneous reading, and junior Amiya Kotate reaching finals for the second straight year in the row, this time placing third. Kotate said that competing at the state tournament was “a completely different experience that I’ve been so honored to be a part of. It’s not about winning, rather giving your all in an activity that you love.”
  Getting to state is already a tough task, but placing is something even more,” said Nelson. Kokate won the section tournament in discussion two years in a row. State 2019 was a unique experience for the Wayzata Speech Team, and they’re ready to repeat the process again in 2020.