Columbia Falls High School Speech and Debate brought home the hardware from state for the 12th consecutive time, capping an undefeated season.
“We are overwhelmingly proud of our state team,” said Head Coach Tara Norick. “We had a very strong team this year, with 14 seniors and a full roster of dedicated competitors. This is a group of kids who worked hard, practiced hard, stayed focused, and kept their eye on the prize. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing group of coaches — Alyssa Militello, Candy Gross, Alicia Gillan, and Barry Conger.”
Helping the Columbia Falls team make it to the top were individual state champions: Annabel Conger and Colin Norick, Policy Debate; Chloe Foster, Memorized Public Address; Estevon Torres, Dramatic Interpretation; Jacob Hohman, Informative Speaking; and Jerelyn Jones, Original Oratory.
Columbia Falls amassed 280 sweepstakes points to hold onto the state title. State runner-up, Whitefish High School Speech and Debate, fought to the finish line earning 126 points overall. Belgrade finished third with 107 points.
The second-place finish tops off a great season, according to Whitefish Head Coach Carissa Shupp.
“Our kids worked hard this year, and it paid off here. We are grateful to everyone who supported the Whitefish team, and proud to bring home medals in several events,” Shupp said.
Whitefish had one individual state champion — Makkie Haller in Impromptu Speaking.
Twenty schools from around Montana competed at the 2017 Class A State Speech and Debate Tournament in Laurel on Friday and Saturday.
Polson High School finished seventh overall with 43 points.
“While we didn’t have a huge team, they fought valiantly up to the very end,” said Polson Assistant Coach Kyle Dunn.
Following are individual results:
Public Forum Debate: 2. Ava Chisholm and Anna Nicosia, Columbia Falls; 4. Annabelle Smith and Katelyn Toland, Polson; 5. Cassidy Norick and Kelsey Wright, Columbia Falls; 7. Delaney Conger and Maggie McKeon, Columbia Falls.
Policy Debate: 1. Annabel Conger and Colin Norick, Columbia Falls; 2. Zachery Kasselder and Ian Caltabiano, Whitefish; 4. Ian McKenzie and Danielle Schwalk, Columbia Falls; 5. Abby Lowry and Douglas Mercer, Whitefish; 6. Mary Ward and Shyane Williams, Columbia Falls.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate: 4. Mikel Knutson, Columbia Falls; 5. Sophia Spechart, Polson; 6. Gabby Merrell, Columbia Falls; 8. Tyler Brown, Columbia Falls.
Impromptu Speaking: 1. Makkie Haller, Whitefish; 2. Danny Morgan, Columbia Falls; 3. Willie Baltz, Columbia Falls; 5. Teigen Tremper, Whitefish; 7. Geneva des Lions, Polson.
Extemporaneous Speaking: 3. Danny Morgan, Columbia Falls; 4. Zach Ade, Whitefish; 7. Alex Garate, Columbia Falls; 8. Makkie Haller, Whitefish.
Memorized Public Address: 1. Chloe Foster, Columbia Falls; 2. Zach Ade, Whitefish; 4. Joey Chester, Columbia Falls; 5. Geneva des Lions, Polson.
Dramatic Oral Interpretation: 1. Estevon Torres, Columbia Falls; 3. Jacob Hohman, Columbia Falls; 5. Lizzy Olsen, Whitefish; 6. Naya Brigette, Whitefish.
Humorous Oral Interpretation: 3. Jerelyn Jones, Columbia Falls; 4. Brandon Karberg, Columbia Falls.
Informative Speaking: 1. Jacob Hohman, Columbia Falls; 4. Danielle Rosenbaum, Columbia Falls; 5. Teigen Tremper, Whitefish; 6. Kennedy Payne, Columbia Falls; 7. Adia Saurey, Whitefish.
Original Oratory: 1. Jerelyn Jones, Columbia Falls; 4. Aidan Reid, Whitefish; 5. Miranda Lauria, Columbia Falls; 6. Grace Benkelman, Whitefish.