Madison Consolidated High School’s 110th annual Custer Contest was held on Sunday with Rachel Riley’s excerpt from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” judged as the top oratorical performance in a field of four contestants.
Riley, the daughter of David and Sharon Riley, was coached by Madison history teacher Krista Lee and picked up the top prize of $750. She plans to attend Purdue University and study psychology.
The event, held in person at the Opal E. Sherman Auditorium, after being staged virtually last year for the first time ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was presented before a small socially-distanced, mask-wearing audience with music by Mitchell Adams.
The second place winner of $350 was Sebastian Biallas, who performed a selection from “Scythe.” Biallas is the son of E.J. and Katy Biallas and he was coached by Ivy Tech professor Jill Koren. He also plans to attend Purdue University where he will study mechanical engineering.
The other two contestants will receive $275 each and they include Jacob Daghir and Devin Zhang.
Daghir recited an excerpt from George Orwell’s “1984.” He is the son of Jacque McDaniel and Jeff Daghir and was coached by Madison Consolidated High School language arts teacher Hannah Oliver. He also plans to attend Purdue University and study electrical engineering.
Zhang selected Isaac Asimov’s short story “The Last Question” as subject. He is the son of Yu Jiang and Zu Tian Zhang and was coached by fine arts director Aaron Kelsey. He plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology where he will major in computer science.