by Beecher Threatt
The combined Ouray-Ridgway speech team finished a successful season with Nerea McKnitt placing 11th at the state tournament in Drama last weekend.
Cliona Pasek competed in Poetry, and Caeley Eddy, Emmalee Taylor and Cliona Pasek attended extra rounds to observe other performers and prepare for the next step up in speech, according to coach Kentee Pasek.
At the district tournament on Feb. 16 at Fruita High School, Cliona Pasek and McKnitt qualified for state, while Taylor was runner-up for state in Drama. Eddy placed seventh in Poetry, and McKnitt and Taylor placed 10th in Duet.
Cliona Pasek placed first in Poetry at a Feb. 2 tournament in Montrose, while Taylor placed second in Drama.
Joy Vann, another team member, placed fifth in Poetry at a tournament in Fruita on Jan. 12.
The state tournament was March 22-23 at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch.
Christine Coyer, math teacher at Ouray Middle School was assistant coach for the team and Nancy Nixon was a valuable mentor for the team, Pasek said. She also noted Pam Larson helped with driving and feeding the team.
Pasek has been coach for two years and coached the middle school team the last six years.