Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Pekin Speech Team sending three acts to state competition
Jan. 26, 2023 10:42 pm
The Pekin Speech Team took seven different performing acts to the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) District Large Group Contest held Jan. 21 at Keota High School. Of those, three acts received Division I ratings and will be continuing on to the state contest on February 4. State contest will be held at Cedar Rapids Washington High School in Cedar Rapids.
This year’s speech team consisted of: Ayla Banes, Alisia Brock, Conor Cloyd, Will Daniels, Izabella Earnest, Ben Guise, Andrea Hoy, Anna Hadley, Bo Latcham, and JT Spray. The seven performing acts and their ratings were as follows:
Izabella Earnest and Alisia Brock, Musical Theatre “End of the Line” from the musical The Theory of Relativity — Division I Rating.
Ayla Banes, Solo Mime “Bubble Trouble” — Division I Rating.
Anna Hadley and JT Spray, Group Improvisation — Division I Rating.
Rannen and Tatum Harbison, Group Improvisation — Division IV Rating (Disqualification for rule technicality).
Rannen and Tatum Harbison, Musical Theatre “Confrontation” from the musical Jekyll and Hyde — Division II Rating.
Ben Guise, Andrea Hoy, and Bo Latchum, Group Improvisation — Division II Rating.
Ayla Banes, Alisia Brock, Conor Cloyd, Will Daniels, Izabella Earnest, and Ben Guise, Short Film “The Ambulatory Unalive” — Division II Rating.
The Pekin High School Speech Team is coached by Staci Wright and Jim Eschenbrenner.
“We were incredibly proud of all of the kids. They all worked so hard and I hate to get hung up on who is going on and who is not. There was so much merit is everyone’s work, and judging is a very subjective thing,” Wright said. “The disqualification happened as a result of not stopping when they blew the whistle. However, the whistle was so loud it startled the girls and they reacted, thus talking over time. The short film had some sound issues because it was filmed outside and the wind came through the microphones. We are looking at some grants to purchase better equipment to help with that. With improv, you are at the mercy of the situations you draw and sometimes, they’re just really hard to come up with a story line for, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience with the situations you draw. It can just be rough.” stated Wright.
“In the end, the courage it takes to get up there in front of a whole lot of people and put yourself out there — to be vulnerable in that way — that is what matters and Jim and I both are most proud of that and the hard work that went into preparation.”
Remaining dates for speech contests are Saturday, Feb. 4 State Large Group Speech Contest; Saturday, Feb. 18 All-State Large Group; Saturday, Feb. 25 District Individual Speech Contest; March 11 State Individual Speech Contest; March 27 All-State Individual Speech