The Columbia Falls Speech and Debate team capped off the regular season with a strong win at the Class A Western Divisional tournament in Columbia Falls. The community strongly supported the program with well over 100 people turning out to fill the 250 judging hours needed during the day.
Columbia Falls, which had multiple students qualify in each of the events, tallied a whopping 299 points at the nine-team tourney. Whitefish placed second with 118 and Polson was third with 33.
Columbia Falls enters the Class A state tournament in Laurel, Jan. 27-28, chasing a 12th consecutive championship. The Class AA state tournament is in Bozeman and the Class B-C tourney is in Havre.
On the debate side of the roster, Annabel Conger and Colin Norick continued their streak in Policy Debate, with the final showdown in this event between the pair and their own teammates Mary Ward and Shyane Williams. In Public Forum team debate, Ava Chisholm and Anna Nicosia took the first place title with a perfect 5-0 record for the day. And in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Gabby Merrell led the field of 15 debaters.
In speech competition, Columbia Falls placed in every event. In Memorized Public Address, the Wildcats scored a sweep with Chloe Foster, Joey Chester and Emma Erickson taking first, second and third, respectively. Jerelyn Jones carried first place in both of the events she competed in: Original Oratory and Humorous Interpretation, and Danny Morgan topped the competition in Impromptu with a second place in Extemp.
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