Last Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 a.m., all 29 members of the Belle Plaine speech team packed into a bus destined to arrive at Central High School. Although this marked yet another early morning for the team, everyone on the bus to Norwood-Young America was wide awake, as the overwhelming anticipation of the day ahead of them filled their minds.
As the Belle Plaine bus arrived at the site of their conference speech tournament, you could feel the excitement in the air. Several students from other surrounding schools gathered alongside the Belle Plaine competitors, eager to see what the day had in store for them.
Similarly to the prior meet the Belle Plaine speech team had competed in, the day would consist of three first rounds, with one “final” round for the top performers in each category. As the first round was about to start, you could feel the nerves lift from the Belle Plaine team, as they shifted into peak-performance mode.
“If I ever experience nerves before a round, it usually helps to talk to my partner, and get some laughs in before we perform. Otherwise, I just take a few deep breaths and try to focus on looking poised and professional instead of panicking,” stated Kadence Bran de Leon.
The Belle Plaine speech team was very successful through the first three rounds of the day, giving several of their team members the opportunity to show off their talents in the “final” round.
The team as a whole had a phenomenal “final” round, but Isaiah Trimbo, Kadence Bran de Leon, Paul Hillstrom, and Griffin Ruud did particularly well, each earning first place in their respective categories, along with a spot on the all-conference speech team. Siri Kuhn and Tristan Cruz were both awarded honorable mention spots on the all-conference team, after being selected by their two coaches, Victoria Valencour and Maija Johnson.
“It was great to see so many of my teammates get some recognition for all of the hard work they’ve put in this season,” stated Isaiah Trimbo. “They’ve all spent so much time perfecting their pieces, and they’re seeing so much success because of it.”
The Belle Plaine speech team certainly shined in their conference tournament, and many members of the team came home with the hardware to prove it.
Tristan Cruz, Siri Kuhn, Kadence Bran de Leon, Griffin Ruud, Isaiah Trimbo, Paul Hillstrom.