Speech squad wins home meet handily

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The Columbia Falls speech and debate team played host to 22 teams and came away with another first-place trophy over the weekend.

With nearly four hundred individual event entries, the tournament was one of the largest Columbia Falls has hosted in the past decade.

While their coaches were busy running the tournament, the Wildcats were busy dominating the Class A competition, winning three events and compiling 175 sweepstakes points to easily outpace second place Whitefish’s 90. Frenchtown was a distant third with 37 points.

The team had twenty-four individuals place in the top eight, and was led by first place finishes by Lara Erickson and Laney Conger who took first in public forum debate and Isaac Adams, who won both dramatic and humorous interpretation.

Adams was thrilled with his performance noting, “It is so exciting to win at your home tournament, but to win both of my events was just an amazing accomplishment for my senior year.”

Head coach Tara Norick was thankful to the community for their help in making the tournament possible. “We had nearly 300 judging slots to fill, and the community responded with 135 judges to cover the nearly 450 volunteer hours,” she said.

As far as the results Norick was pleased with how her team performed, noting “the students really managed themselves well, and did what they needed to do to compete well all day.”

Columbia Falls will have the next few weeks off for the Thanksgiving holiday. After Thanksgiving break, the team will jump right back into tough competition competing at two class AA tournaments in Kalispell and Great Falls before Christmas Break.

Columbia Falls results were as follows:

Policy Debate:

3rd Emma Stephens and Shyane Williams

5th Calie Johnson and Tre` Finley

Public Forum Debate:

1st Lara Erickson and Laney Conger

2nd Damon Morris and Jesse Rusche

Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate:

4th Raphe Salmon

Dramatic Interpretation:

1st Isaac Adams

2nd Griffin Conger

4th Chloe Coberley

Humorous Interpretation:

1st Isaac Adams

Original Oratory:

5th Julia Sowerwine

7th Sheridan Skerritt

Memorized Public Address:

2nd Julia Sowerwine

4th Suzanna Rosalez

7th Ave’ McDonald


3rd Maggie McKeon

8th Sam Lovering


2nd Chloe Coberley

4th Maggie McKeon


7th Jack Zimmerly

Sweeps (team score)

1st Columbia Falls 175

2nd Whitefish 90

3rd Frenchtown 37

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