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Keating winners

In Awards on November 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

Congratulations, Rachel Stark and CJ Lotz!

Rachel won the Keating Feature Writing Competition on Saturday and CJ placed second. This year, the competitors had to report on the Bands of America Grand National Championships. They had a few hours to find, report and write a story.

Here’s an excerpt from Rachel’s winning article:

The day it happened, Wally Hicho woke up at 6 a.m., ready to make five dollars an hour cutting sheet metal. He arrived at the factory, where his dad works, in jeans and a blue t-shirt — nothing flashy for the laid-back teenage boy. Tan work gloves warmed all five of his fingers on both right and left hands.Wally’s hands were skilled. This day, the junior at Brunswick High School in Ohio used them to cut metal. Other times, they grasped the hand of his girlfriend of two months, held the poles to his snow skis, and typed text messages on his cell phone. In one week, they would clutch his trumpet and press its keys in the high school state marching band competition.

This day, on October 30, Wally stood at a machine where a weight plunged onto sheet metal, slicing it. At one point, a piece became stuck in the machine. Wally turned it off and walked behind to investigate. He did not tell his dad.

When his dad turned the machine on, the weight dropped onto his son’s right hand, cutting it like metal.

Wally moved quickly enough that his bones were not hit, just the skin, which was ripped off as he pulled his hand out. The weight hit at the end of his fingernail.

“DAD!” Wally screamed.

His dad, horrified, grabbed the bloody hand to apply pressure.

Later in the ambulance, when no one knew whether Wally would keep his fingertips, the teenager thought of his marching band.

Oh God, I need this hand to play. “

Congrats to all of the IU competitors: Caitlin Johnston, Sean Morrison, Biz Carson, Charlie Scudder, Avi Zaleon, CJ Lotz and Rachel Stark.

In case you missed my earlier post, check out the stories that landed them spots in the competition.

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