On Feb. 25, Rock Creek journalism students traveled to Kansas State University to compete in the 3A/4A regional journalism contests, and after judging was completed, the team qualified 27 out of 33 events they had entered.
“It is the most that we have ever had qualify since we have started taking regional teams several years ago,” journalism adviser Jessica Augustine-Stegman said. “So, it is really pleasing that we have increased our numbers.”
Two students earned first, including senior Justin Reiss in Yearbook Sports Writing and junior Brynn Hammett in Yearbook Copy Writing.
“I feel like I have gained some of my confidence back because last year I did not place at all,” Hammett said. “So, now I have faith in my journalism skills again.”
Three students placed second, including Hammett in Yearbook Layout and Design, junior Jayden Weers in Copy Editing and sophomore Haley Smith in Headline Writing.
“I was very surprised because I felt like I was under a lot of pressure with the deadline,” Smith said. “But, at the same time, I did not do as well as I wanted to.”
Four students placed third, which included Hammett in News Writing, junior Olivia Lee in Feature Writing and Sports Photography, Smith in Advertising and freshman Annabel Shriner in Photo Illustration.
“Well, as first, I was shocked that I even was selected to enter because I didn’t think my picture was all that good,” Shriner said. “This is also something I’ve never really experienced, giving that this is my first year in journalism, so I guess it feels pretty good to know that other people like my pictures.”
Seventeen events were awarded honorable mention, which included senior Kitrina Miller in Headline Writing, News Writing and Newspaper Design and senior Caleb Rogge in Newspaper Sports Writing; Lee in Academics Photography, Cutline Writing and Photo Illustration, junior Amber Rayo in Academics Photography and Weers in Yearbook Layout and Design; and sophomore Natalie Lindsey in Editorial Writing and Feature Writing, sophomore Logan Staab in Sports Photography and Smith in Copy Editing, Editorial Writing and Infographics. Together, Hammett and Weers, along with Reiss and Rogge, both placed as teams in Yearbook Theme and Graphics.
“With it being my senior year, I am slightly disappointed that I did not place first or second, but I am happy to be taking three of my four events to state this year,” Miller said. “It allows for me to have the chance to place in more events than just the one like in previous years.”
Students that qualified will travel to University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kan., on May 7 to compete in the state competition.
“Since we qualified so many, I think the chances are good that we come out with at least some people who medal,” Augustine-Stegman said. “But, I am always a little cautious going into state because the competition is harder and the judging is harder, so I think that the students need to be prepared for that and do their best work, too.”
Article by Jayden Weers, yearbook copy editor
Photo by Jessica Augustine-Stegman, adviser