Columbia Falls Speech and Debate wins Western A title
The Columbia Falls speech and debate team poses with the Western A divisional trophy on Saturday. (Photo provided)
| January 23, 2023 9:45 AM
The Columbia Falls speech and debate team won the Western A Divisional title over the weekend, easily outpacing the competition.
The Wildcats racked up 256 sweeps points, while Whitefish placed a distant second with 137 points and East Helena placed third with 87. Columbia Falls hosted the tournament.
The Cats had eight team members take home divisional championships and five runner-ups.
The squad now makes the long journey across the state this week to compete at the state tournament in Sidney — a 13 hour long drive on good roads, nevermind winter.
Still, the team is stoked.
“It’s the first year we’ve had a full team going in a couple years and we haven’t taken the title in a while so I’m excited to take it back,” Eddie Chisholm, who won the divisional title in Lincoln Douglas debate said.
Teammate Brandon Crawford had similar sentiments.
“I’m really excited, it’s been a turbulent year, but we’re undefeated so I have pretty high hopes. We’ve never been this far to compete and there will be a completely different group of judges so it should be interesting. It’s a five-day (road) trip so we’ll have to find ways to keep ourselves entertained on the bus with things like books and headphones,” Crawford said. Crawford, along with teammate Aiden Rohn, took the divisional title in public forum debate.
“It’s going to be fun! It’s a great group and a lot of seniors so it should be a great adventure. The entire team is going as well or are alternatives. We have a lot of young members as well who should do really well,” coach Dawn Roe said of the upcoming state tourney.
The Cats took second at state in 2022 and 2021. In 2020 they won the state A title, the team’s 15th in a row. This year they have yet to lose and the hope is to begin 2023 with another championship trophy.
Several students competed in more than one event.
The following took championships in the divisional round:
Aiden Rohn and Braiden Crawford, Public Forum Debate
Zack Tillman and Lucas Counts, Duo Interpretation
Eleanor Hollingsworth & Kynsleigh Gould, Policy Debate
Eddie Chisholm, Lincoln Douglas Debate
Carson Settles, Informative
The following placed in their events:
Lauren Rogers and Boone Shanks, second in policy debate
Ruby Davis, second in Informative
Makinzie Taylor, second in humorous interpretation
Eleanor Smiley, second in memorized public address
Ava Minns-Prezeau and Celestine Young, third in policy debate
Kajsa Mohr, third in Dramatic Interpretation
Reed Wollenzien and Carson Settles, third in duo interpretation
Ruby Davis and Elli Sandstrom, fourth in duo interpretation
Reed Wollenzien, fourth in dramatic interpretation
Colton Little, fifth in extemporaneous
Elli Sandstrom, fifth in humorous interpretation
Quinn Caudle and Logan Emerson, sixth in public forum debate
Merrell Cooley, sixth in memorized public address
Alanna Milhollen, sixth in Lincoln Douglas debate
Robyn Maddux, seventh in memorized public address
Charles Hakes, seventh in informative
Sophie Petioni, eighth in extemporaneous
The following also qualified for state:
Selah Heinzen and Julianna MacPherson, public forum debate
Christopher Daenzer, Lincoln Douglas debate
Brandon Widhalm, humorous interpretation
Charles Hakes, extemporaneous
Mika Bennett, impromptu
Brin Shull, original oratory
Greyson Pfeifle, first alternate for original oratory