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Larsen Named State Champion, Team Places 4th

posted May 3, 2017, 10:26 AM by Barry Holloway
Article by Rachel Betters
Photo by Andy O'Neill

Whitewater, WI--The Chargers soared into one final victory for the season as they placed fourth in Division-1 at the WFCA state tournament on Saturday, April 1. Ending a season filled with record-breaking achievements and a streak of placing no lower than third at an invite, Hamilton’s fourth-place finish places the team among the best in the state and demonstrates its unprecedented growth throughout the past four years.

Team points aside, the Chargers’ eleven entries advancing to semifinals and seven advancing to finals broke all previous records from the state competition. Only three teams at the competition had more entries advance to finals or place as state champions. Among those advancing are senior Jack Larsen, who advanced to finals for the first time at state and emerged as the state champion in Impromptu; sophomore Jordan Koeller, placing second in Impromptu at his second state competition; freshman Emma Stokman, who placed third in her first year in forensics in Demonstration; senior Emily Keith, who placed fifth in Special Occasion Speaking at her first state finals; and freshman Abhi Puri in Group Interpretive, who accompanied Emily Bader and Kavya Ayalasomayajula in place of a teammate who could not attend the meet. Matt Gnanadass and Rachel Betters advanced to finals for the second time in their careers, placing fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking and Special Occasion Speaking, respectively. Non-advancing semifinalists included Mia Leukert (Demonstration Speaking), Amy Yadev (Informative Speaking), Erin Magoon (Informative Speaking), Maanya Kashyap and Emily Berger (Duo Interpretation, and Ciara Cronin (Special Occasion Speaking).  

With the last tournament of the season complete, the Chargers can begin to focus their attention preparing for next year and planning their annual team banquet and awards ceremony on May 12th. Captain and leadership positions will be announced at the banquet, along with various team awards, dream team standings, and performances from state finalists. 

--Erin Magoon was one of six selected to receive a scholarship from the WFCA in recognition for her career in forensics. She is the first Charger to receive this award.

--Erin Magoon became the only Charger to advance out of preliminaries in all four of her trips to state.

--Matt Gnanadass and Rachel Betters joined Hamilton alum Dani Kallis as the only students to advance to the state finals twice in their career.

--Jack Larsen went 1, 1, 1 in the final round of Impromptu Speaking.

--Emma Stokman and Abhi Puri were competing in their first season in forensics.

--Mia Leukert, Amy Yadev, Erin Magoon, Maanya Kashyap, Emily Berger, and Ciara Cronin advanced to semi-finals in their categories.

--Only three teams had more state champions this year than Hamilton.

--Only three teams had more state finalists.

--Seven of the team’s eight seniors attended state AND advanced to at least semi-finals.

--Hamilton defeated Homestead and Madison West after going 0-4 against the schools at invites this season.

--Notable GMC final rankings at state: Brookfield East (11th), Wauwatosa East (14th), Brookfield Central (23rd), Marquette (25th).

--James Madison won their 10th straight and 14th overall D-I State Championship, Waunakee won their school’s first D-2 State Championship, and St. Lawrence won their 7th D-3 State Championship.

--The tournament was attended by over 1000 students from 74 schools.

--More information can be found on Twitter @Hamilton4N6 or on the team’s website