Augsburg News

News Archives - 2004

Ryan Sobolik of Fargo places 4th in national speech competition

Mar. 10, 2004

Ryan Sobolik, a junior at Augsburg College, won 4th place in the nation in Extemporaneous Speaking at the 22nd Annual Novice National Speech Tournament held March 5-8 at the University of Houston, Tex. The Augsburg team as a whole placed 6th in the limited sweepstakes division. This was the largest novice national tournament ever held with more than a thousand competitors from 50 colleges and universities from all around the nation. Augsburg students competed against teams from Pennsylvania to California and from Florida to Washington.

Sobolik, son of Daniel and Mary Sobolik of Fargo, said he was impressed by the competition. "There were so many excellent speakers, I was proud just to make it to the finals."

After semi-finals, Sobolik advanced to finals and won fourth place overall in the event. This award establishes him as one of the best novice extemporaneous speakers in the country.

"Extemporaneous speaking is a particularly difficult event,"said coach Bob Groven. "Students must create a speech on a current events topic with only 30 minutes to prepare. Students must process a wide-ranging knowledge on issues from Iraq to the AIDS issue in Africa. It’s tough for students to keep currents on such a wide array of issues."

In addition to Sobolik’s award, the Augsburg team as a whole earned sixth place in sweepstakes within their division. Nick Carpenter, a senior from New Orleans, competed in poetry interpretation for the first time.

"Some of my prelim round ranks really helped to earn points for the team,"Carpenter said. "It's good for everyone to pull together for a strong team showing."Other students who earned sweepstakes points with strong preliminary round ranks included: Heather Nystrom, sophomore from Worthington in poetry interpretation, and Becky Tellin, junior from North St. Paul in persuasive speaking.