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Darlington forensics students earn top team award
The high number of perfect scores at state competition leads to a high team score for 18th year
Forensics assembly group
THE DARLINGTON forensics team took center stage on Friday, April 27, for a special assembly honoring their accomplishments at the state forensics meet in Madison the previous week. The students earned 22 gold medals, two silvers and a bronze, earning them the Excellence in Speech Award for the 18th year in a row. The team consists of coach Leona Havens, front left, coach Carmen Rielly, Courtney Wallin, Darby Fitzsimons, Naomi Black, Savannah Bergeson, Abbey Carlson, Elisabeth Pinnow, Shannon McDaniel, Kayla Fitzsimons, Katie Carlson, Seul Khon, AnnaLisa Ruesga, coach Connie McIntyre, coach Rayna OBrien; Michael Sinclair, second row, Dane Siegenthaler, Kaitlyn Wall, Kelsey Wiegel, Payton Steiner, Andrea Paisley, Tina Kurschner, Alix Brandt, MariKate Knellwolf, Hannah Huffman, Claire Scott, Meghan Vieth, Brianna Reichling; Thomas Schultz, third row, Scott McDaniel, Tyler Berget, Jason Singer, Caitie Chiaverotti, Sami Poss, Mikayla Riley, Alison Wedig, Adria Braley, Amy Jorgenson, Hope Robiolio; Sam Johnson, fourth row, TJ Lawson, John Sturtz, Brady McDaniel, Levi Wedig, Eli Humphrey, Alex Schulte, Nate Fleming and John Fortin. Missing from the photo is Jacke Johnson.

DARLINGTON—The Darlington forensics team earned its 18th Excellence in Speech Award following the state meet in Madison on April 21.
A special assembly was held at the Darlington High School auditorium on Friday, April 27, to recognize the students’ accomplishment. Many parents attended the event to show their support.
At the state forensics meet the students were given one chance to do their best performance in each of their categories. The highest score they can achieve is a 25.
“To be able to accomplish [the Excellence in Speech Award], you have to be in the top 5 percent of all of the teams that are competing,” Darlington High School principal Douglas McArthur said. “On top of that, our team, for the seventh year in a row, scored the most points of any team.”
Darlington students received 22 perfect scores, two silvers and a bronze at the state meet. Points are awarded to each medal—four for gold, three for silver and two for bronze—which gave the team a total of 96 out of a possible 100 points for the team award.
“We had 22 perfect scores at state,” forensics coach Carmen Rielly said. “It’s the most we’ve ever had.”
Rielly said most teams get approximately five gold medals for their whole team.
“They broke a record this year,” McArthur said at the special assembly. “There were just under 5,000 participants in the state forensics meet.”
McArthur said a plaque will be placed in the school honoring those students.
Rielly has been coaching forensics for 12 years. Assistant coaches are Leona Havens, Connie McIntyre and Rayna O’Brien.
Forensics overlaps other activity seasons with its four-month duration.
“Many of these [forensics] students are involved in several other activities and I think that speaks volumes for the quality of our school district,” Rielly said.