Speech team hammers competition at home meet

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Sam Lovering practices his speech during opening rounds of the Columbia Falls Invitational speech tourney last week.

The Columbia Falls speech and debate team dominated its home meet last week, racking up 247 points for the win in the Friday-Saturday tournament. Whitefish was a distant second with 128 points.

The team was led by senior Ava Chisholm with two first place wins in humorous interpretation and impromptu. The team also had first place finishes in policy debate by Danielle Schwalk and Shyane Williams and public forum debate by Laney Conger and Maggie McKeon.

“We had 150 judges from our community fill 413 judging hours at out tournament this weekend. We are grateful for the overwhelming support from the Columbia Falls community,” said head coach Tara Norick.

The Wildcats placed speakers in every event.

The tournament had 17 schools including two AA schools, 10 Class A teams, and five from Class B/C on Friday and Saturday.

With the invitational tournament behind the team, the focus moves to divisionals and state. Only the top 12 in each event at divisionals is invited to compete at the state tournament. There are 12 schools and each school can bring three competitors in each event. With the addition on Ronan, Browning, and Libby to the Western Division this year, competition will be tough, Norick said.

Divisionals is Jan. 20 in Ronan and state is in Corvallis on Jan 26-27.

Individual competitors results were as follows:

Policy Debate

1st Shyane Williams and Danielle Schwalk

4th Ella Hutcheson & Ian McKenzie

6th Calie Jo Johnson and Tre Finley

Public Forum Debate

1st Laney Conger & Maggie McKeon

3rd Cassidy Norick and Kelsey Wright

LD Debate

6th Chloe Coberley


1st Ava Chisholm

5th Madeline Jarvis


5th Noah Golan

Humorous Oral Interpretation:

1st Ava Chisholm

3rd Jacob Hohman

5th Danielle Rosenbaum

Dramatic Interpretation:

4th Ave’ McDonald

5th Jordyn King

Memorized Public Address:

2nd Emma Erickson

3rd Emmalee Hellen

4th Jordyn King


3rd Kennedy Payne

6th Jacob Hohman


6th Haileigh Bayee

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