Maria Carrillo High’s Brynna Thigpen earned a first place finish in the Sonoma County “California Poetry Out Loud” contest on Feb. 12. Thigpen, a junior, now advances to state finals in Sacramento on March 25 and 26.

Students from 13 high schools in Sonoma County competed in the local competition, according to organizers. High schools represented include El Molino, Analy, Elsie Allen, Montgomery, Piner, Cloverdale, Rancho Cotate, Rincon Valley Christian, Roseland University Prep, Santa Rosa and Sonoma Academy.

“Young people interested in rap and  slam contests can be surprisingly interested in classical poetry when it’s presented through the Poetry Out Loud competition,” Muriel Johnson, director of the California Arts Council, said in a statement.

For more information, go to www.poetryoutloud.org