Marshalltown High School hosted its seventh annual Poetry Out Loud competition among students on Dec. 18 in the MHS/Community Auditorium.
Taking first place and advancing to the state contest was senior Ellen Podhajsky.
In the contest, students recite two poems that test them on memorization and recitation.
Other top five placewinners from MHS Thursday were junior Mitchell Schwandt (second place), senior Libby Crawford (third place), sophomore Michelle Ankrum (fourth place) and freshman Luke Pedersen (fifth place).
Podhajsky recited “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman and “The Woman at the Washington Zoo” by Randall Jarrell.
Podhajsky will compete in the state contest on March 1 in Des Moines. She also won the MHS contest last year and placed fifth at state.
Poetry Out Loud contests are held in every state in the country with more than 150,000 students participating.
Students are judged on the following criteria: physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of complexity of the poem they read, evidence of understanding, accuracy and overall performance.