Marina Long, of North Waterboro, and a freshman at Sanford Christian Academy, placed first with her speech about the U.S. Constitution. Long represented District 1 at the 2017 State American Legion Oratorical Contest held Feb. 11 at Thomas College in Waterville, according to a news release from the Maine American Legion.

Long will compete at the national level in April for a chance to win up to $18,000 in scholarships.

The runnerups were Dexter Wright, of Columbia, who attends Narraguagus High School, and represented District 15; Keegan Cannell, a Greenville High School student who represented District 14; Lucas Wright, a Scarborough High School student, who represented District 2; Isabelle Mehrhoff, of Mercer, who is home schooled, represented District 10; and Cara Pitcher, who attends Boothbay Regional High School, represented American Legion District 7.

Each contestant delivered a prepared oration as well as an oration on a randomly assigned constitutional topic.

Since 1938, the American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program has encouraged the nation’s high school students to study the U.S. Constitution and to hone their public speaking skills.

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