East Speech earns state title


Photo by Izzy Apel

Lincoln East Speech team poses with the Class A state title on March 15, 2023 in Kearney, NE. East edged out 6 time defending champion Millard North 240-192 to earn their 34th state title in school history.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023 the Lincoln East Speech team brought home their 34th state championship title. The sState speech competition took place in Kearney, Nebraska and Lincoln East edged out 6-time defending champ Millard North 240 to 192.

The Spartans had 20 individuals who qualified at districts the week prior. State speech started early that Wednesday morning with the first of the prelims beginning at 8:30.

“The moments before finals were really special,” senior Aarohi Lamichache said. “I think having energy before a stressful moment was helpful and unique. Speech is about more than just winning; [it’s about] the bonds we form.”

At 2:45 a slideshow began containing the events and names of the individuals who had “broken” and advanced into the final round. Among the 20 Spartan competitors, 18 advanced into finals. These individuals would be the ones scoring in attempts to take home the Class A state title.

“This year we went to finals again in the same exact situation we walked into last year,” coach Elle Barts said. “And then we beat them [Millard North] by 48 points this time, so it was kind of like validation… vindication. It was beautiful. It was legendary.”

The Spartan’s swept 5 individual state championship titles within the 12 events. The individual state champions included senior, Mac Vaverka (Interpretation of Poetry) , junior Leo Goldberg (Persuasive Speaking), and sophomores Nustrat Amin (Entertainment Speaking) and Max Apel (Humorous Prose). In addition to the four individuals, the Spartan Oral Interpretation of Drama containing senior Harper Allen, juniors Korben Ockander and Annabeth Schubert, sophomore Ellie Hiser and freshman Claire Rooney also won.

Other notable finishes included Hannah Tang (Extemporaneous Speaking; 3rd), Leo Goldberg (Extemporaneous Speaking; 2nd), Rimi Bhoopalam (Informative Speaking; 2nd), Nusrat Amin (Duo Interpretation; 6th), Luke Nash (Duo Interpretation; 6th), Jack Welstad (Duo Interpretation; 2nd), Max Apel (Duo Interpretation; 2nd), Aarohi Lamichane (Persuasive Speaking; 3rd), Harper Allen (Serious Prose; 3rd), Mac Vaverka (Serious Prose; 4th). Harper Schupbach (OID; 4th), Isabella Razdan (OID; 4th), Luke Nash (OID; 4th), and Alex Jurrens (OID;4th).

“When we were on stage, they just kept going,” Vaverka said. “We were placing really well and I remember looking at Harper and saying we did it.”

The Spartan team was awarded the Class A state title, which was quite special considering it was the first time since 2016 and they were four points off the year prior.

“Your inner saboteur;, I talk about this all the time with the kids.” Barts said. “[It’s] that little voice in your head. They conquered [and] vanquished their inner saboteurs that day.”