Wildcat speech and debate takes first at Loyola tourney in Missoula

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A split Columbia Falls Speech and Debate team won the Loyola Invitational Saturday and took second at Browning with a limited squad.

At the Loyola Sacred Heart Invitational in Missoula, Columbia Falls went head-to-head against 18 Class A, AA and B schools from around the region. Racking up points across every event — seven individual speech and three debate categories — the Wildcats scored 155 total team points to easily capture the Class A trophy for the meet. Stevensville came in second in the Class A competition, with 41 total points, with Frenchtown earning 30 points for third.

A small group of 12 Wildcats — most of the freshman members of the team — brought their best game up against local rival Whitefish and a group of 15 other regional teams at the Browning Invitational. Although Whitefish — with its full team competing — captured the first place trophy, Columbia Falls’ small contingent took a solid second and captured places in several individual events.

“We decided to split the team so that everyone could participate in a competition over the weekend,” said coach Tara Norick. “We wanted to sample the competition from multiple schools as we build our program to the state tournament at the end of January in Corvallis. This was a great chance for many of the freshman members of our team to shine.”

In Browning, freshman Emmalee Hellen blazed to a first place finish in memorized public address — a 7-10 minute memorized speech highlighting a famous speech. In humorous interpretation, where speakers read a humorous work of literature in a dramatic (and hopefully hilarious) fashion, Ave’ McDonald captured third place. Rounding out the freshman powerhouse, public forum debate team Lara Erickson and Jesse Rusche argued their way into the finals round against a senior Whitefish team and captured second place in the match up. In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Sophomre JJ Boles secured a solid fifth place slot.

At Loyola, competitors racked up points in every event, with firsts in several categories. Senior Ava Chisholm was the top speaker in dramatic interpretation, Jacob Hohman was first in humorous interpretation, and Jordyn King took second in MPA. Cassidy Norick and Kelsey Wright took first in public forum debate.

“Our students were focused on the competition and are continuing to improve. We are looking forward to the Class A competition after Thanksgiving in Whitefish Dec. 2, where we will compete head-to-head against Whitefish,” Norick said.

Loyola Individual results:

Policy Debate:

3rd Ella Hutcheson and Ian McKenzie

4th Shyane Williams and Danielle Schwalk

5th Calie Jo Johnson and Tre Finley

Public Forum Debate:

1st Cassidy Norick and Kelsey Wright

2nd Laney Conger and Maggie McKeon

LD Debate:

6th Gabby Merrell

10th Chloe Coberley

Impromptu:

5th Madeline Jarvis

6th Ava Chisholm

Extemporaneous:

5th Noah Golan

7th Sam Lovering

Humorous Oral Interpretation

1st Jacob Hohman

3rd Danielle Rosenbaum

Dramatic Interpretation:

1st Ava Chisholm

4th Jacob Hohman

5th Jordyn King

Memorized Public Address

2nd Jordyn King

Oratory

4th Danielle Rosenbaum

8th Kennedy Payne

Informative

4th Danielle Rosenbaum

8th Kennedy Payne

Sweeps

1st Columbia Falls 155

2nd Stevensville 41

Browning Individual results:

Public Forum Debate:

2nd Lara Erickson and Jesse Rusche

LD Debate:

5th JJ Boles

Humorous Oral Interpretation

3rd Ave’ McDonald

Memorized Public Address

1st Emmalee Hellen

Sweeps

1st Whitefish 145

2nd Columbia Falls 43

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