Saturday, March 06, 2021

Bulldogs edge Cats by two points at divisional tourney

Editor | January 27, 2021 7:00 AM

So close.

The Columbia Falls speech and debate team took second at the Western A divisional tournament over the weekend, falling to rival Whitefish by just two points, 156-154.

The Wildcats were lead by Grffin Conger, who took first in original oratory in speech. In debate, Trey Finley and Emma Stephens took first in policy debate and Eddie Chisholm took first in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

The razor-thin margin shows just how tough the competition is this year.

“These results show how tight it is. A two-point gap is one more competitor making it to semifinals, or an entry taking third instead of fourth. When the gap gets this close it really comes down to the last placings, and any one thing happening different can change the result,” coach Blake Ladenburg said.

This is a familiar place for both Columbia Falls and Whitefish, who had a similar result at the 2018-2019 state tournament, when the result ended in a three-point gap between the two teams.

Ladenburg said he expects the state tourney, which starts this weekend, will also come down to the wire.

He said the team continues to work on its performances.

“We have taken second for the past two weekends, and have been on an upward trend each week. We know where we can still make gains and will be working hard this week to make sure that happens,” he said.

The State A tournament is being hosted virtually by Sidney, and takes place this Thursday through Saturday. Some judging slots for State still need to be filled. If you are interested in judging please email

Complete Wildcat divisional results:

Memorized Public Address

3rd Lillian McDonald

4th Julia Sowerwine

8th Taylor Stephens

Informative Speaking

3rd Taylor Stephens

Original Oratory

2nd Julia Sowerwine

8th Paige Moriarty


5th Paige Moriarty

6th Chloe Coberley


5th Aiden Judge

Dramatic Interp

2nd Griffin Conger

3rd Chloe Coberley

Humorous Interp

2nd Ruby Davis

6th Zack Tillman

Policy Debate

3rd Eleanor Hollingsworth and Finley Sundberg

Public Forum Debate

6th Brayden Crawford and Aiden Rohn