A troupe of 15 Marion High School students summoned theatrical skills to score 167 team points and claim first place of nine teams Monday at the Heart of America League forensics meet in El Saline.
Last year, the team took second place. Coach Janet Killough said even with one student out due to sickness, she was expecting her team to do well, but was happily surprised with a first place finish.
“I’m just so thrilled,” she said. “This is the first time since we joined the HOA league that we have become league champs.”
Judges scored students on their performances in various events during three preliminary rounds. Students had to place among the top six competitors to proceed to finals.
“To win Sweeps, which is the team win, everyone’s points were counted even if they didn’t make it to finals,” Killough said.
Individually, Marion brought home two first places, two second places, four third places, three fourth places, one fifth place, and one sixth place.
Killough noted that Elizabeth Meyer took first in oration qualifying for state, while brothers Jacob and Nathanial Baldwin placed first in the improvised duet acting.
“The kids work so hard and forensics is something that will help them the rest of their lives,” Killough said. “To be able to stand up in front of people and speak or perform isn’t an easy thing.”
Currently, 13 Marion High School students have qualified for the State Champs competition on May 2.