The Salem High School Forensics team, under the leadership of Head Coach Mark Ingerson, won the Class 4 State Championship on Saturday, defeating second place Grafton 29-18. With the victory, Salem ties Christiansburg wrestling with the most consecutive state championships for any team in Virginia High School League history. Salem was led by five individual event winners including senior Rylan Long in Original Oratory, fellow senior Emma Snead in Impromptu Speaking, and sophomore Connor Smythers in Humorous Interpretation.This is Smythers' second individual state title and his victory marks the 14th consecutive year that Salem has won the Humorous event. at states.
Senior Courtney Bowen was victorious in Prose and 11th graders Grasyn Mitchell and Kade Lakin were winners in Serious Duo. Like Smythers, this was Lakin's second title. Also placing for Salem and scoring points for the team were senior Ben Hathaway and junior Kyra Netting, who were the runners-up in Humorous Duo. Sophomore Colton Easter also placed 3rd in Prose.
Also competing at states for Salem were junior Lebron Parsell in Extemporaneous Speaking and sophomore Hall Blackwood in Storytelling. Five freshmen also competed and got their first taste of state competition. They include Tessa Yerton in Dramatic Interpretation, Quinn Roudebush in Dramatic Interpretation, Zac Hathaway in Storytelling, and Lacey Stratton amd Dresden Strouth in Humorous Duo.
The Forensics team is managed this championship season by Kaeyln Henzey.