Submitted photo
Rushford-Peterson speech coach Forrest Musselman, left, with 
Nell Himlie who qualified for state in the category of serious 
interpretation of drama along with the district’s speech head coach Shari Michel.
Submitted photo Rushford-Peterson speech coach Forrest Musselman, left, with Nell Himlie who qualified for state in the category of serious interpretation of drama along with the district’s speech head coach Shari Michel.
Once again, the Rushford-Peterson Speech Team traveled early on April 8 to the Section 1A Speech Contest in Byron.

The top six students in each of the 13 categories were vying for the top three standings in order to advance to the state competition.

Nine members of the Rushford-Peterson team competed. After the first three rounds, the top six competitors advanced to a final round to see who would be representing that category at state.

Nell Himlie advanced to the final round in the category of serious interpretation of drama; she was the only R-P member to advance.

At the awards ceremony, they read the winners from sixth place down to number one.

“When they called fourth place, and it wasn’t Rushford-Peterson, I started to cry. She has worked so hard, as she has every year, but it all came together this year. She does an amazing job with this selection, and I am so proud of her,” said head coach Shari Michel.

Himlie’s name was eventually called as she placed second overall in the final round to earn a trip to state!

“Mr. Musselman and I just prayed that this was her year, and it worked. This is also a great piece for state, so we are excited to see what she can do there.”

The other members also did well, but just not well enough to advance this year.

Zenessa Anderson placed seventh in storytelling, so she just missed advancing to the final round by one spot. Himlie was the only senior to advance.

“If they have the talent, desire and drive to make it back next year, they could get another shot at state,” Michel summarized.

Coaches Shari Michel and Forrest Musselman are proud of this year’s team members and all of their effort and hard work.

“They have a very talented group, and we look forward to next year,” Michel said. “Some of the members already have their scripts picked out for next year.”

This year’s state competition will be held at Apple Valley High School on Friday, April 21, for class AA schools and Saturday, April 22, for class A schools.

“We wish Nell all the best and good luck as she continues to work towards her state performances and make the communities of Rushford and Peterson proud!” Michel and Musselman exclaimed.