National Speed Contest

The National Speed Contest is almost as old as the Association. With its debut in 1909 at Lake George, N.Y., the first contest marked the beginning of one of two great eras of championship steno writing. The first era was dominated by Pitman and Gregg pen writers and didn't end until 1927. The second era ushered in machine shorthand writers. This modern series of speed contests began in 1952 and continues today. It's still the most difficult and challenging test of skill and endurance a reporter can face.

So why would anyone want to create a speed contest in the first place? A national speed contest was the perfect platform for reporters to demonstrate their ability to write shorthand. Add to this mix the very real need for role models in a burgeoning verbatim reporting field and the chance to expose fraudulent claims of stenographic skills in the 400 to 600 wpm range, and it becomes clear how important and integral the National Speed Contest has been to the history of reporting.

 

Past Speed Contest winners

 YEAR  WINNER
2021 Donna Urlaub
2019 Jeffrey Weigl
2018 Sherry Bryant
2017 Jeffrey Weigl
2016 Jeffrey Weigl
2015 Julianne LaBadia
2014 Jo Ann Bryce
2013 Dana Hayden
2012 Sherry Bryant
2011 Alan H. Brock
2007-2010 Mark Kislingbury
2006 J. Edward Varallo
2005 Mark Kislingbury
2004 Karla Wollin Boyer
2003 Alan H. Brock
2001-2002 Mark Kislingbury
1998-2000 Karla Wollin Boyer
1997 Wendy E. Shade
1996 J. Edward Varallo
1993-95 Candace Braksick
1992 Diane K. Kraynak
1991 Karla Wollin Boyer
1990 Candace Braksick
1988-89 Diane K. Kraynak
1987 Karla Wollin Boyer
1986 J. Edward Varallo
1985 Diane K. Kraynak
1984 William L. Odom
1983 Charles A. Boyer
1981-82 Diane K. Kraynak
1980 Charles A. Boyer
1979 Peggy Antone
1978 Diane K. Kraynak
1977 Charles A. Boyer
1974-76 J. Edward Varallo
1971-73 Charles A. Boyer
1970 Richard Tuttle
1968-69 Howard R. Lubin
1965-67 Alberta R. Buster
1964 Erwin Goodman
1961-63 Craig Windsor Wallace
1958-60 Nathaniel Weiss
1955-57 William Cohen
1952-54 Arnold Cohen
1925-27 Martin Dupraw
1923-24 Charles L. Swem
1922 Nathan Behrin
1921 Albert Schneider
1919 Jerome B. Victory
1911-14 Nathan Behrin
1910 Clyde H. Marshall
1909 Willard B. Bottome

 

The First Era: Pen Writers

All of the entrants in the first National Speed Contest in 1909 were pen shorthand writers who used the Isaac Pitman system or one of its many variations. Contestants were required to hand in transcripts of only two readings, one of testimony at 280 wpm and one of a jury charge. Two jury charge takes were dictated - one at 200 wpm and one at 220 wpm - and the contestants had the option of transcribing either of the jury charge dictations and the testimony take. Willard Bottome, an official reporter of the New York Supreme Court for 17 years, won the contest.

The following year, NSRA introduced the three readings that became standard: literary material at 200 wpm, jury charge at 240 wpm and testimony at 280 wpm. (The winner was another New Yorker, Clyde Marshall.)

Nathan Behrin, a newcomer to the ranks of contestants, won the championship in 1911, and dominated the annual contests through the year 1914, with new records of accuracy. Also competing in 1911 was 19-year-old Charles Swem, another writer who would become a dominant force in contest writing. He surprised the Pitman writers as the first Gregg shorthand writer to qualify on two of the contest readings. Before that, the Gregg shorthand system had been largely dismissed by Pitman aficionados as incapable of contest speed.

The National Speed Contest of 1914 was momentous because a group of stenotypists, ages 15 to 19, entered for the first time and stunned the veteran pen writers by winning the 200 wpm literary (Fanny Schoenfeld) and 220 wpm literary (Clem Boling). Nevertheless, Nathan Behrin won the overall championship because the stenotypists could not stay with him on the 280 wpm Q&A.

Confronted by this sudden challenge of machine shorthand to the supremacy of pen shorthand - not to mention the very livelihood derived from it - the shaken leaders of NSRA held a late-night bull session where they decided to eliminate speed contests at future Association conventions.

The Speed Contest resumed five years later in 1919 without stenotypists. (They wouldn't be invited again until 1952.) The contest was won by Jerome Victory, writing Osgoodby shorthand.

Lurking behind the scenes of the shorthand speed contests was the intense competition between the Pitman and Gregg publishing companies to gain a foothold in the high school shorthand departments of the nation. It became an important part of their advertising claims to be able to point to the National Speed Champion as a user of their system.

From 1922 to 1927 the competition heated up between the Gregg and Pitman camps, with Nathan Behrin and Solomon Powsner on the Pitman side and Charles Swem and Martin Dupraw on the Gregg side.

In 1926 the literary was increased to 220 wpm and the jury charge to 260 wpm. The testimony, which had been dictated by one person who voiced the words "question" and "answer," was changed to two-person dictation, with the words "question" and "answer" no longer pronounced or counted in the word count, resulting in an increase in speed from the previous 260 to 280 wpm.

After winning for the third time in a row in 1927, Dupraw retired his championship cup. That year also marked the last time a speed contest would be held by NSRA until the era of the machine shorthand speed contest began in 1952.

The reason for the discontinuance? Perhaps Nathan Behrin said it best at the 1927 Convention: "The thing that does irritate me and actually hurt me is the report that goes out, in heavy type so that none can help but read, that the contest is won by a young boy still in his teens, and that in capturing the speed trophy this young boy, who is not a reporter, has defeated expert court reporters of many years' experience.

"It is this misuse of speed contest results which is hurtful to the profession. It is no longer a case of reporters sitting down in good fellowship to make a trial of their skill, and then all applaud the winner. It is now a race between the reporter on the one hand and the trained contestant on the other. People who do not make shorthand reporting their main calling, judges and lawyers, conclude this skill can be acquired easily in a short time, so why pay these reporters great salaries?"

Along with these sentiments from the reporting profession was the ongoing nettlesome problem of commercial misuse of contest results by both the Gregg and Pitman companies. Not only that, contestants complained that there was a monopoly of contest winners - three or four individuals who won year after year, allowing no other writers to compete at the enhanced speeds.

So, the pen shorthand era of the National Speed Contest ended on a sour note. But the astonishing records of accuracy still stand the test of time.

The Second Era: Machine Writers

After a quarter century of deep sleep, not unlike Sleeping Beauty, the National Speed Contest was awakened with the proverbial kiss, courtesy of two princes - Joseph Sweeney of California and Nathan Behrin of New York. Once again, the contest would be an important part of the program of every NSRA Convention.

The 1952 National Speed Contest was an open competition. The speeds were identical to those from the last contest held in 1927. All of the entrants were machine shorthand writers.

The winner was Arnold Cohen of New York, who established a record on the 220 wpm literary of one error, followed closely by his twin brother William. In 1953, the Cohen twins tied in the San Francisco contest, making the same number of errors, albeit different ones, on each take and tied the record of two errors on the 280 wpm Q&A reading set by Martin Dupraw in 1926. The next year in Cleveland, Ohio, Arnold won once again (William didn't enter) and retired the contest trophy.

William came back to the contest in 1955 and won that year and the following two years for good measure, establishing a record of two errors on the 260 wpm jury charge. After his third win, he too retired the trophy.

Up until 1960, the National Speed Contest was dominated by contestants from New York. Craig Wallace, of Washington, D.C., ended that streak when he won the 1961 contest. The West Coast made its mark in 1964 when Erwin Goodman of Los Angeles, Calif., won the contest.

The 1965 contest saw another first - the winner was a woman, 28-year-old Alberta Buster, a freelance reporter from Chicago, Ill. She did it again the next two years and retired the trophy.

For most of the '70s, Charles Boyer and J. Edward Varallo proved to be the crème de la crème of contest winners. Boyer won in 1971-1973, establishing a record of one error on the 230 wpm legal opinion. But it was Varallo who performed a spectacular feat: a perfect score in the 280 wpm testimony reading in the course of winning the 1975 contest. And, his total of six errors on the three readings was also a best ever in the contest's history.

After winning in 1974, 1975 and 1976, Varallo retired from competition, at least for the subsequent decade. In 1977, for the first time since Nathan Behrin had won in 1914, Charles Boyer returned to the winning fold for the fourth time.

The next year Diane Kraynak of Michigan emerged the winner, ushering in the gradual dominance of the championship by the distaff side. Unfortunately, Kraynak wasn't eligible to compete again the next year because of a new, but short-lived, contest rule that barred a winner from entering the following year.

In 1979, Houston's Peggy Antone walked away with the championship trophy. When asked how it felt to win, a modest Antone said simply, "Unexpected."

Kicking off the 1980s, Charles Boyer visited the winners' circle for the fifth time, tying the record set by Nathan Behrin.

Diane Kraynak recaptured the championship in 1981, and again in 1982, nosing out Boyer by one-tenth of a percentage point.

In this nip-and-tuck series, Charles Boyer won for the sixth time in 1983, establishing a new record for number of times as champion.

In 1985 Diane Kraynak returned for her fourth win. This contest also marked the emergence of computer-aided transcription. Of the 46 entrants, 16 opted to transcribe on CAT. And last, but not least, Charles Boyer became the first to produce a perfect paper on the 230 wpm legal opinion.

In 1986, after a 10-year absence, J. Edward Varallo returned to triumph over several former champions. Diane Kraynak established a new record on the 220 wpm literary take, submitting a perfect transcript.

Karla Wollin Boyer (Charles Boyer's wife) won the contest for the first time in 1987, making this couple the first husband and wife to have both won the contest. (They had met at a speed contest in 1977 and were married in 1982 - perhaps revealing another side to the contest, one of camaraderie and a time for socialization.)

In 1992 Diane Kraynak won for an unprecedented seventh time on a difficult test that reduced the number of qualifiers to a handful.

At the 1993 NCRA Convention in San Francisco, Candace Braksick won the contest for the second time in four years, with a combined score of 99.75. Second-place honors went to Karla Wollin Boyer, who had recently won Intersteno's World Championship in Turkey - the only American so far to win that contest, and she has done it four times!

In 1994 Braksick won for the third time. Her combined score was 99.91, including one perfect paper in the 280 wpm testimony. Her total score of three errors remains the best ever in contest history.

When contestants gathered in 1996 in San Diego, Calif., they witnessed a remarkable comeback by former champion J. Edward Varallo. Varallo is the only speed contest winner to come out of retirement after 10 years to win, then turn around and do the same thing again after another 10 years!

Wendy Shade took first place in 1997. Mark Kislingbury of Houston, Texas, distinguished himself in the 220 wpm literary portion of the contest with no errors.

In 1998 Karla Wollin Boyer captured the championship trophy for the third time.

What is it about a speed contest that makes it much more difficult than any other reporting test? Nathan Behrin once said, "To one unacquainted with actual contest conditions, it would seem strange that a professional shorthand reporter, occupied for the greater part of the year in the writing of shorthand, should find it so difficult to participate with any degree of comfort in a shorthand contest. The truth is that the writing of the spoken word … in a contest calls forth a different response from that when taking testimony in the familiar court environment. …

"On-the-job reporting is poor preparation for contest writing, where no allowance is made for experience in reporting, and only one side of his work is put to the test, namely, the ability to write shorthand. The reporter contemplating taking part in contests must undergo the discipline of writing from dictation at contest speeds, and he must develop the endurance to write for a specified period of time without pause."

Both champions and qualifiers on past National Speed Contests know the truth of Nathan Behrin's statements. While it is true that everyone can't be the winner, we owe kudos to those superb writers who have missed capturing the speed contest trophy by just a hairbreadth or two.

How will the speed contest of the future work? Will the rules change as technology affects reporting tools and systems? It's anybody's guess, but one thing is certain: If future contests are anything at all like their predecessors, the reporting industry can look forward to intense competition from contestants in top form and many record-breaking scores along the way.


Special thanks to Bill Cohen for providing much of the material for this article.

 


 

Past Speed Contest results

2016 Speed Contest results
Overall combined scores
Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 52 98.588%
2 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 91 97.516%
3 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 99 97.263%
4 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 101 97.238%
5 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 101 97.199%
6 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 121 96.647%

 

Literary
Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 6 99.455%
2 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 10 99.091%
2 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 10 99.091%
3 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CRC 12 98.909%
3 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 12 98.909%
4 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 13 98.818%
4 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 13 98.818%
5 Lorie Kennedy, RMR, CRR 16 98.545%
6 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 21 98.091%
7 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 22 98.000%
8 Mary Schweinhagen, RDR, CRR 23 97.909%
9 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 24 97.818%
9 Anthony Trujillo, RMR, CRR 24 97.818%
10 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 26 97.636%
10 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 26 97.636%
10 Suzanne Kelly, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 26 97.636%
11 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 28 97.455%
12 Kimberly Greiner, RMR, CRR 30 97.273%
13 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 32 97.091%
14 Paula Campbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 36 96.727%
14 Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC 36 96.727%
14 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 36 96.727%
15 Allison Hall, RMR, CRR 39 96.455%
16 Alan Peacock, RDR, CRR, CRC 42 96.182%
17 Joyce Casey, RDR, CRR, CRC 46 95.818%
18 Darlene Fuller, RMR, CRR 53 95.182%
19 David Collier, RMR, CRR 54 95.091%

 

Legal opinion
Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 26 97.739%
2 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 45 96.087%
3 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 46 96.000%
4 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 49 95.739%
5 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 54 95.304%
6 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 57 95.043%

 

Q&A
Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, CRC 20 98.571%
2 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR, CRC 29 97.929%
3 Jennifer Dunn, RMR, CRR, CLVS 30 97.857%
4 Lorie Kennedy, RMR, CRR 31 97.786%
5 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC 33 97.643%
6 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE 35 97.500%
6 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 35 97.500%
7 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 39 97.214%
8 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 45 96.786%
9 John Wissenbach, RDR. CRR, CRC 49 96.500%
10 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 50 96.429%
11 Joyce Casey, RDR, CRR, CRC 55 96.071%
12 Paula Campbell, RDR, CRR, CRC 59 95.786%
2014 Speed Contest results
Overall combined scores
Place   Total Errors Avg %
1 Jo Ann Bryce, RPR, CRR 7 99.797%
2 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 18 99.504%
3 Dana Hayden, RMR, CRR 18 99.494%
4 Karen Tyler, RDR, CRR 24 99.338%
5 John Wissenbach, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP 27 99.277%
6 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CCP 26 99.271%
7 James Pence, RMR, CRR 31 99.175%
8 Rita Gee, RMR, CRR 30 99.139%
9 Clay Frazier, RMR, CRR 36 99.017%
10 Laura Brewer, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP 37 98.990%
11 Deanna Boenau, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP 37 98.987%
12 Janice Plomp, RDR, CRR, CCP, CRI 61 98.400%
13 Ronald Cook, RDR, CRR 69 98.172%
14 Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR 69 98.130%
15 Amanda LeGore, RDR, CRR 75 98.037%
16 Diane Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CCP, CPE 75 97.962%
17 Amanda Maze, RMR, CRR, CCP 85 97.823%
18 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 84 97.714%
19 Douglas Zweizig, RDR, CRR 90 97.710%
20 Laura Axelsen, RMR 119 96.747%

Literary
Place Literary Errors Percentage
1 Laura Brewer 0 100.000%
1 Jo Ann Bryce 0 100.000%
1 Dana Hayden 0 100.000%
2 Deanna Boenau 2 99.818%
2 Amanda Maze 2 99.818%
2 Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP 2 99.818%
2 Janice Plomp 2 99.818%
2 John Wissenbach 2 99.818%
2 Douglas Zweizig 2 99.818%
3 Ronald Cook 3 99.727%
3 James Pence 3 99.727%
4 Donna Urlaub 4 99.636%
5 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag 5 99.545%
5 Amanda LeGore 5 99.545%
6 Karen Tyler 6 99.455%
7 Diane Sonntag 7 99.364%
8 Clay Frazier 9 99.182%
8 Rita Gee 9 99.182%
8 Rich Germosen 9 99.182%
9 Linda Burke, RMR, CRR, CCP 13 98.818%
9 Francina Davis, RMR, CRR 13 98.818%
10 Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CCP 14 98.727%
11 Tami Frazier 15 98.636%
12 Patrick Mahon, RMR, CRR 16 98.545%
13 Karen Peckham, RMR, CRR 17 98.455%
14 Candice Andino, RMR 18 98.364%
14 Bernice Radavich, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, CPE 18 98.364%
15 Laura Axelsen 20 98.182%
15 Michelle Keegan, RMR, CRR 20 98.182%
16 G. A. Sonntag, RDR, CRR 21 98.091%
17 Maureen McCarthy, RMR, CRR 24 97.818%
18 William Zaremba, RMR, CRR 27 97.545%
19 Deanna Dean, RDR, CRR 49 95.545%
20 Maellen Pittman, RDR, CLVS 49 95.545%

 

Legal opinion
Place   Errors Percentage
1 Jo Ann Bryce 7 99.391%
2 Donna Urlaub 8 99.304%
3 Karen Tyler 10 99.130%
4 Clay Frazier 13 98.870%
4 James Pence 13 98.870%
4 John Wissenbach 13 98.870%
5 Dana Hayden 15 98.696%
5 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag 15 98.696%
6 Rita Gee 17 98.522%
7 Deanna Boenau 23 98.000%
8 Laura Brewer 25 97.826%
8 Tami Frazier 25 97.826%
9 Janice Plomp 26 97.739%
9 Douglas Zweizig 26 97.739%
10 Amanda Maze 27 97.652%
11 Amanda LeGore 28 97.565%
12 Ronald Cook 32 97.217%
13 Diane Sonntag 40 96.522%
14 Rich Germosen 44 96.174%
15 Laura Axelsen 56 95.130%

 

Q&A
Place   Error Percentage
1 Jo Ann Bryce 0 100.000%
2 Dana Hayden 3 99.786%
3 Rita Gee 4 99.714%
3 Bernice Radavich 4 99.714%
4 Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag 6 99.571%
5 Donna Urlaub 6 99.571%
6 Karen Tyler 8 99.429%
7 Deanna Boenau 12 99.143%
7 Laura Brewer 12 99.143%
7 John Wissenbach 12 99.143%
8 Clay Frazier 14 99.000%
9 James Pence 15 98.929%
10 G. A. Sonntag 17 98.786%
11 Diane Sonntag 28 98.000%
12 Tami Frazier 29 97.929%
13 Rich Germosen 31 97.786%
14 Janice Plomp 33 97.643%
15 Ronald Cook 34 97.571%
16 Maureen McCarthy 41 97.071%
17 Amanda LeGore 42 97.000%
17 Kathryn Thomas 42 97.000%
18 Laura Axelsen 43 96.929%
19 Michelle Keegan 45 96.786%
20 Karyn Menck 51 96.357%
21 Amanda Maze 56 96.000%
22 Karen Peckham 58 95.857%
23 Douglas Zweizig 62 95.571%
24 Francina Davis 70 95.000%
2013 Speed Contest results

Dana Hayden (left) of Huntsville, Ark. won the 2013 Speed Contest. Deanna Boenau (center) of Sarasota, Fla., earned second place and Donna Urlaub (right) of Chicago, Ill., earned third place in the Speed Contest.

Contestants write and transcribe three five-minute legs—220 Literary, 230 Legal Opinion, and 280 Testimony—and qualify for each with an accuracy score of 95% or better. The best combined score wins the championship.

Overall combined scores
Place Names Errors Percentage
1. Hayden, Dana 15 99.569%
2 Boenau, Deanna C. 27 99.295%
3 Urlaub, Donna M. 28 99.287%
4 Humphrey-Sonntag, Melanie L. 33 99.164%
5 Wissenbach, John 32 99.147%
6 Bryce, Jo Ann 38 99.037%
7 Tyler, Karen L. 38 98.959%
8 Cortopassi, Kathy A. 83 97.763%
9 Radavich, Bernice E. 96 97.469%
10 Frazier, Clay James 94 97.440%
11 Germosen, Rich 108 97.154%
12 Brezina, Thomas R. 123 96.720%

 

Literary
Place Names Errors Percentage
1 Bryce, Jo Ann 1 99.909%
2 Boenau, Deanna C. 4 99.636%
2 Urlaub, Donna M. 4 99.636%
3 Hayden, Dana 5 99.545%
4 Humphrey-Sonntag, Melanie L. 7 99.364%
5 Tyler, Karen L. 9 99.182%
6 Wissenbach, John 10 99.091%
7 Cortopassi, Kathy A. 13 98.818%
8 Menck, Karyn D. 17 98.455%
9 Casey, Joyce Z. 18 98.364%
9 Cook, Ronald L. 18 98.364%
10 Germosen, Rich 20 98.182%
11 Jansen, Naren 24 97.818%
12 Frazier, Clay James 28 97.455%
13 Radavich, Bernice E. 29 97.364%
14 Brezina, Thomas R. 31 97.182%
14 Frazier, Tami 31 97.182%

 

Legal opinion
Place Names Errors Percentage
1 Humphrey-Sonntag, Melanie L. 1 99.913%
2 Urlaub, Donna M. 4 99.652%
3 Wissenbach, John 5 99.565%
4 Boenau, Deanna C. 7 99.391%
5 Hayden, Dana 8 99.304%
6 Bryce, Jo Ann 10 99.130%
7 Radavich, Bernice E. 11 99.043%
8 Tyler, Karen L. 15 98.696%
9 Cook, Ronald L. 18 98.435%
10 Casey, Joyce Z. 19 98.348%
11 Frazier, Clay James 27 97.652%
12 Germosen, Rich 28 97.565%
13 Brezina, Thomas R. 29 97.478%
14 Cortopassi, Kathy A. 34 97.043%
15 Frazier, Tami 38 96.696%
16 Jansen, Naren 53 95.391%

 

Q&A
Place Names Errors Percentage
1 Hayden, Dana 2 99.857%
2 Tyler, Karen L. 14 99.000%
3 Boenau, Deanna C. 16 98.857%
4 Wissenbach, John 17 98.786%
5 Urlaub, Donna M. 20 98.571%
6 Humphrey-Sonntag, Melanie L. 25 98.214%
7 Bryce, Jo Ann 27 98.071%
8 Cortopassi, Kathy A. 36 97.429%
9 Frazier, Clay James 39 97.214%
10 Radavich, Bernice E. 56 96.000%
11 Germosen, Rich 60 95.714%
12 Brezina, Thomas R. 63 95.500%
2012 Speed Contest Results

Sherry Bryant, Harrisburg, Pa. won the 2012 Speed Contest. Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, of Wheaton, Il., earned second place and Douglas J. Zweizig, RDR, CRR, Philadelphia, PA., earned third place in the Speed Contest.

Contestants write and transcribe three five-minute legs—220 Literary, 230 Legal Opinion, and 280 Testimony—and qualify for each with an accuracy score of 95% or better. The best combined score wins the championship.

Overall combined scores
1. Sherry J. Bryant 23 99.380%
2. Melanie L. Humphrey-Sonntag 28 99.233%
3. Douglas J. Zweizig 31 99.184%
4. Donna M. Urlaub 34 99.053%
5. Jo Ann Bryce 41 98.838%
6. John Wissenbach 58 98.490%
7. Dee Boenau 71 98.070%
8. Sara Watt 81 97.753%
9. Kathy A. Cortopassi 95 97.377%
10. Debra A. Dibble 111 96.967%
11. Ronald L. Cook 121 96.758%

 

Literary
1. Donna M. Urlaub 2 99.818%
2. John Wissenbach 4 99.636%
2. Douglas J. Zweizig 4 99.636%
2. Sherry J. Bryant 4 99.636%
3. Dee Boenau 5 99.545%
4. Louise M. Becker 8 99.273%
5. Melanie L. Humphrey-Sonntag 9 99.182%
6. Darlene D. Fuller 10 99.091%
7. Kathy A. Cortopassi 11 99.000%
7. Ronald L. Cook 11 99.000%
8. Sara Watt 14 98.727%
9. Jo Ann Bryce 15 98.636%
10. Debra A. Dibble 17 98.455%
11. Lea A. Lumpkin 18 98.364%
12. Joyce Z. Casey 20 98.182%
13. Rich Germosen 25 97.727%
14. Lillian M. Freiler 27 97.545%
15. Janice Plomp 32 97.091%
16. Naren Jansen 50 95.455%

 

Legal Opinion
1. Melanie L. Humphrey-Sonntag 8 99.304%
2. Sherry J. Bryant 9 99.217%
3. Douglas J. Zweizig 10 99.130%
4. Jo Ann Bryce 17 98.522%
5. John Wissenbach 20 98.261%
6. Donna M. Urlaub 24 97.913%
7. Amanda L. Maze 34 97.043%
8. Dee Boenau 40 96.522%
9. Sara Watt 44 96.174%
10. Debra A. Dibble 54 95.304%
11. Maureen McCarthy 56 95.130%
11. Kathy A. Cortopassi 56 95.130%
11. Ronald L. Cook 56 95.130%

 

Q&A
1. 1. Donna M. Urlaub 8 99.429%
2. Jo Ann Bryce 9 99.357%
3. Sherry J. Bryant 10 99.286%
4. Melanie L. Humphrey-Sonntag 11 99.214%
5. Darlene D. Fuller 17 98.786%
5. Douglas J. Zweizig 17 98.786%
6. Joyce Z. Casey 23 98.357%
6. Lea A. Lumpkin 23 98.357%
6. Sara Watt 23 98.357%
7. Dee Boenau 26 98.143%
8. Kathy A. Cortopassi 28 98.000%
9. Rich Germosen 30 97.857%
10. Naren Jansen 33 97.643%
11. John Wissenbach 34 97.571%
12. Debra A. Dibble 40 97.143%
13. Amanda L. Maze 45 96.786%
14. Maureen McCarthy 52 96.286%
14. Lillian M. Freiler 52 96.286%
15. Shannon Taylor-Scott 53 96.214%
16. Ronald L. Cook 54 96.143%
17. Kathryn A. Thomas 63 95.500%
18. Allison L. Kimmel 66 95.286%