The Pequot Lakes Patriot speech team finished the season with some hardware, as sophomore Mollie Pierson earned the state title in the discussion category Friday, April 12, at Wayzata High School.
"I thought I did pretty well," Pierson said. "My prelims were a little iffy - you never really know how it is going for the judges. I was just happy I finaled, but I definitely was not expecting to win. There were a lot of really good people there, and I was definitely intimidated."
In the competition, Pierson and her fellow speakers were tasked with discussing the socio-economic impact of social media on society and traditional media.
"Our final round was whether traditional media was declining or not, and solutions to save it if it is declining," Pierson said. "I argued that, unfortunately, it was, but through the switch of more technology, it can still be alive in print, television and online."
"Mollie had a great state tournament," Patriot coach Angie Klein said. "After the three preliminary rounds she was in second place. Following the final round, I knew she had a good shot of winning it all."
Last year, Pierson finished fourth in the same topic at the state meet. This year, she spent plenty of time helping newer, younger speakers on the Patriot discussion team, but she ultimately stood alone at the top of the podium.
"I couldn't have done it without my coaches," Pierson said. "They are always there 24/7 and they do a lot for us."
Looking to next season, Pierson plans to continue honing her craft, but would like to branch out from the discussion category.
"Mollie is such a talent," Klein said. "This was her third medal in three years in two different categories. I promised her if she took first, second or third, I would let her drop discussion next year. If you are going to leave a category, you might as well leave on top."