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Connellsville team takes 1st in reading competition

| Saturday, June 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Members of “The Guardians” reading team from Connellsville Area High School who won first place recently in the Westmoreland Interscholastic Reading Competition are (from left) Rachel Miller, Haylie Eutsey, Justine Waggel, Nicole Meir, Rachel Fremd, Jesse Moore, Kelsey Coldren, Elizabeth Becker, Alexis DeMott and Rebecca Rowan.

For the first time, a reading group from Connellsville Area High School took home first place in the Westmoreland Interscholastic Reading Competition held recently at Seton Hill.

Adrianne Jordan-Egnot said that while she has been involved in the competition in past years with the high school students, this year, she was top coach as the high school reading specialist.

There were 35 teams from five different counties that participated in the competition. Connellsville's winning team, the Guardians, took first with team members Rachel Fremd (team captain), Rebecca Rowan, Kelsey Coldren, Haylie Eutsey, Cheyenne Spaugy, Elizabeth Becker, Alexis Demott, Jesse Moore, Rachel Miller, Justine Waggle and Nicole Meir.

In order for students to make the team, they had to read a minimum of five books from a pre-approved list of 30.

At the competition, the students had to answer very in-depth questions that were chosen from any of the 30 books on the list.

While all of Connellsville's students read each of the 30 books, it was Fremd's idea that each team member study five books in depth to help prepare them for the competition.

Fremd, a senior this past year, has been involved in the reading competition since she was in 10th grade.

“I love reading, and the competitions are so fun,” she said.

Jordan-Egnot said no team from Connellsville has ever placed in the top 10 in the past, so the first-place finish was a big deal.

“We've always sent really great teams, but the competition each year is just that fierce,” she said.

Fremd said they had hoped to finish at least in the top five teams this year, and when they reached that goal, they hoped to be in the top three teams.

“After that, it was basically shock at that point,” she said.

Each team member received individual trophies and ribbons for their success. The team, as a whole, received a large trophy.

Jordan-Egnot said it was a very exciting competition for the students.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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