IHSA Hosts Competitive Speech Finals in Peoria

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PEORIA (25 News) – Students from across Illinois gathered at the Peoria Civic Center to compete in the IHSA State Speech Finals tournament on Saturday.

This is the 81st edition of the individual events competition. Categories include Original Comedy, Poetry Reading, and Radio Speech, as well as nearly a dozen others. 73 teams representing cities and towns across the state were in attendance with one goal in mind: to advance to the finals.

Some students we spoke to say they’ve been practicing their speech for the weekend since last summer, like Beijing senior Caroline Manning. For her, it’s the ultimate reward for doing speaking for all four years of high school.

“I remember being a freshman, looking at everyone and seeing ‘I want to be like this someday’ and I’m so proud of myself that I can actually be one of those people that people admire,” she said.

It wasn’t just competitors and coaches present to represent their schools. Families and friends gathered in the exhibition halls to cheer on their teams.

“Some of our teammates who are not competing today, even our classmates, have come to see us and it’s really great to see them,” said another Pekin Community High senior, Anna Soupos.

Other teams representing our region included East Peoria, Dunlap, Normal, Peoria and Washington.

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