Osmundson is exemplary at Extemp.


Photo Provided by Katie Osmundson

Senior Katie Osmundson placed first at the State competition in domestic extemporaneous speaking.

Genna Sheriff, Feature Editor

LHS in not just taking home state titles in sports.

Senior Katie Osmundson has been competing on the LHS debate team in domestic extemporaneous speaking (domestic extemp.) since she was a sophomore in high school. Domestic extemp. is a speech event in debate where competitors randomly select three questions. They then select one of those three to write a seven minute speech on. Debaters then have 30 minutes to write and memorize their speech.

“It’s something that scares a lot of people when they hear about it at first because basically I am told that I can be questioned on any current event happening in the U.S.,” said Osmundson.

An extemp speech requires the use of at least two sources to prove a point. To do that, competitors must keep up-to-date with current events and political news surrounding the U.S.. While the process may seem intimidating to some, Osmundson utilizes many resources to help her prepare for competition before she arrives at a tournament.

“I have this program on my computer that saves any news articles and downloads an offline version of them because when we are prepping [for our speech] we are not allowed to have access to the Internet,” said Osmundson. “We have to to bring every material that we want to quote.”

It is obvious that Osmundson’s hard work has paid off. Osmundson competed in the State competition and won first place, something that has not been done in domestic extemp since 1991. Even though she competed against other individuals to take the top spot, Osmundson’s favorite part of competing is meeting and conversing with her competitors.

“While people are your competition, they’re not your direct competition,” said Osmundson. “You’re not just trying to beat them. You’re trying to beat them and five other people in the round. And so, I made a lot of friends from different schools through [competing] that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to.”

Osmundson has had a lot of success with extemporaneous speaking over the past three years, qualifying to go to the national competition each time. But with that, comes an enormous amount of pressure to continue doing well.

“It was very stressful this year because I feel like there is just a lot of pressure having been able to qualify for the past two years and now it is my last chance ever,” said Osmundson. “So, I was very stressed throughout the whole year, but Lincoln did such a great job.”

LHS took the three qualifying spots and will take much of their varsity team to the national competition in Dallas this summer. Despite her individual success becoming a State champion, Osmundson attributes her success to her teammates.

“Even though it’s an individual event, it allowed us to have a lot of teamwork working together to do it, so I am really excited to go to [nationals] with my team,” said Osmundson.