Poetry performers head for state finals

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Ridgefield -- Two poetic high school seniors are on their way to the state finals of Poetry Out Loud, a poetry memorization and performance competition. Abigail Ridgeway of Cedar Tree Classical Christian School, in Ridgefield, and Ben Caldwell of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics took top honors at Poetry Out Loud's Southwest Washington regional finals, hosted for the second year in a row by Educational Service District 112. State finals will be held March 9 in Tacoma, with the top winner receiving $200 and the winner's school receiving a $500 stipend to buy poetry books. The winner also gets an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C., in April. The final prize is a $20,000 college scholarship.