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Wolverines speakers take first at national qualifier
Riverton High School speech team members who will travel to the national competition in Birmingham, Ala., include, left front, Shannon Lynch, Jayden Brummond and assistant coach Margaret Murray. Standing from left, Andrew Thornton, Jace Flanagan, Dallon Cooper, Zach Miller, Sean Thornton and coach Annette Thornton. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Wolverines speakers take first at national qualifier

Mar 25, 2013 - Staff

Riverton High School qualified a record number of speakers for the National Forensic League national tournament this year, thanks to a dominating performance at the recent NFL District tournament hosted by RHS.

The Wolverine speakers followed that performance with two individual state championships the following week at the Wyoming High School Activities Association state speech meet, placing third as a team.

High school speech teams compete in two culminating events each year, one to determine national qualifiers, the other to crown state champions.

National qualifiers

In Riverton's first-place team performance at the NFL District tournament March 8-9, seniors Jace Flanagan and Sean Thornton each booked their third trip to nationals. Flanagan and partner Dallin Cooper won the entertaining duo interpretation event and will compete at the June nationals in Alabama. Cooper also qualified in humorous interpretation but will enter the duo interp event with Flanagan. Its Cooper's first nationals trip.

Thornton qualified in duo interp with partner Jaden Brummond and also in NFL student congress. He'll team with Jaden Brummond at nationals.

Brummond is heading to her second straight national tournament. In addition to her duo interp qualification with Thornton, she also made it in humorous interp. Dual qualifiers must declare a primary event for nationals, and she will enter duo interp with Thornton.

Zach Miller won domestic extemporaneous speaking at NFL district, earning his first shot at nationals. Teammate J.D. Manzanares also qualified in extemp.

Shannon Linch rounded out the RHS nationals team earning a spot in humorous interp.

Seven national qualifiers is the most ever for the Wolverines who are coached by Annette Thornton. They competed statewide over the four-month speech season.

Riverton also won the NFL District Sweepstakes trophy as the district champ, unseating perennial champion Green River.

State meet

Riverton speakers did well again at the Wyoming state speech meet March 15-16 in Rock Springs, and a couple of other county competitors brought home state hardware as well.

Cooper was crowned state champion and Class 4-A champion in humor, and sophomore Andrew Thornton came through as the state and Class 4-A champ in dramatic interpretation. He had emerged as a first alternate national qualifier in that event from NFL district.

Awards at state are given for classification champions as well as overall state winners. Brummond and Sean Thornton won Class 4-A in duo interp, finishing second overall to a Star Valley team. Brummond was third in Class 4-A humor, fourth overall. Sean Thornton also was named best presiding chairman in one of the student congress sessions and was a semifinalist award.

Flanagan was a state semifinalist in poetry interp, finishing third in Class 4-A.

Riverton took home the third-place team trophy in Class 4-A from state, finishing behind Green River and Cheyenne East.

Shoshoni, Lander speakers

Competitors from both Lander and Shoshoni also earned state awards at the state meet. Shoshoni's Jessie Dillon placed second in Class 1-A/2-A Lincoln-Douglas debate. For Lander, Michael Martin was named best presiding chairman for student congress session, and a bill he introduced was named the session's best legislation.

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