Balanced effort leads to speech and debate win in Ronan

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A balanced effort helped the Columbia Falls speech and debate team to its third straight win to start the season as the Wildcats placed in each event at the Gail Patrick Miller Tournament in Ronan Saturday.

Eddie Chisholm earned the first-place trophy in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Isaac Adams was first in dramatic interpretation as the Wildcats compiled 117 points to win the Class A trophy. Frenchtown was second with 81 points and Whitefish was third with 76.

Columbia Falls assistant coach Blake Ladenburg was happy seeing such an even showing.

“There were events last year that we struggled to have individuals place. Getting someone to the final round in each event is encouraging for the future,” he said.

Despite the strong showing he also noted that there were some individual disappointments, and that with more work we should see more individuals placing.

The teams will compete next weekend in Missoula at a two-day tournament with a format similar to that used at the state tournament. It will be the largest tournament the team has competed in this year, with nearly 650 competitors from all classes.

“The larger AA competition really gives our team the chance to improve their skills, and learn how to manage their energy over two-days of competition,” head coach Tara Norick said.

After Missoula, the team will be back at home for the Columbia Falls invitational. The team is still looking for more volunteer judges for their tournament on Saturday, Nov. 23. Those who would like to help judge, please reach out to Tara Norick at

Individual Results:

Policy Debate:

2nd – Shyane Williams and Emma Stephens

3rd – Tre Finley and Calie Johnson

8th – Finley Sundberg and Ava Foley

Public Forum Debate:

5th – Jesse Rusche and Damon Morris

Lincoln Douglas Debate:

1st - Eddie Chisholm

6th – Raphe Salmon

7th – Chloe Coberley

Dramatic Interpretation:

1st – Isaac Adams

Humorous Interpretation:

5th – Isaac Adams

Original Oratory:

8th – Julia Sowerwine

Memorized Public Address:

3rd – Suzanna Rosalez

Informative Speaking:

5th – Aiden Judge


2nd– Maggie McKeon


3rd – Maggie McKeon

Sweeps (team score):

1st – Columbia Falls 117

2nd – Frenchtown 81

3rd – Whitefish 76

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