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Speech and debate: Whitefish narrowly tops C-Falls at Divisional tournament

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | January 26, 2021 12:00 AM

The Whitefish High School speech and debate team squeaked by Columbia Falls High School by two points for the win at the Montana Western A Divisional Tournament.

Whitefish racked up 156 overall points to second-place finisher Columbia Falls’ 154 points at the virtual tournament last weekend.

Frenchtown, which placed first at the previous tournament, came in third with 137 points. Ronan came in fourth place with 48 overall points.

“It’s crazy to go into state with such a tight race, Whitefish Head Coach Sara Mueller said. “I am proud to have this team competing among Columbia Falls and Frenchtown. Both are incredibly well-coached, resilient, and talented. I’m grateful to have qualified all slots we had because it’s obvious that every point will be needed.”

The team placements came down to the final ballots, Columbia Falls Head Coach Blake Ladenburg said.

“A two-point gap is one more competitor making it to semifinals, or an entry taking third instead of fourth,” Ladenburg said in a press release. “When the gap gets this close it really comes down to the last placings, and any one thing happening different can change the result.”

The tight finish echoes the 2019 state tournament where the difference between first and second came down to three points.

“Throw in a talented and decorated Frenchtown team, and the state tournament will be sure to come down to the wire,” Ladenburg said.

He is optimistic for the team’s performance going into state this weekend.

“We have taken second for the past two weekends, and have been on an upward trend each week. We know where we can still make gains and will be working hard this week to make sure that happens,” he said.

The Class A state tournament will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Volunteer judges are still needed. To judge, email b_ladenburg@cfmtschools.net or muellers@whitefishschools.org.

Following are local individual results.

Memorized Public Address

  1. Lucy Schindler, Whitefish
  2. Paetra Cooke, Whitefish
  3. Lillian McDonald, Columbia Falls
  4. Julia Sowerwine, Columbia Falls
  5. McKenna Ferril, Whitefish
  6. Taylor Stephens, Columbia Falls

Informative Speaking

  1. Adrienne Healy, Whitefish
  2. Taylor Stephens, Columbia Falls

Original Oratory

  1. Griffin Conger, Columbia Falls
  2. Julia Sowerwine, Columbia Falls
  3. Paetra Cooke, Whitefish
  4. Paige Moriarty, Columbia Falls

Impromptu Speaking

  1. Abigail Bowden, Whitefish
  2. Adrienne Healy, Whitefish
  3. Paige Moriarty, Columbia Falls
  4. Chloe Coberley, Columbia Falls

Extemporaneous Speaking

  1. Abigail Bowden, Whitefish
  2. Grayson Butler, Whitefish
  3. Aiden Judge, Columbia Falls

Dramatic Interpretation

  1. Lucy Schindler, Whitefish
  2. Griffin Conger, Columbia Falls
  3. Chloe Coberley, Columbia Falls
  4. Marina Nugent, Whitefish

Humorous Interpretation

  1. Ruby Davis, Columbia Falls
  2. Zack Tillman, Columbia Falls

Policy Debate

  1. Emma Stephens and Tre Finley, Columbia Falls
  2. Eleanor Hollingsworth and Finley Sundberg, Columbia Falls
  3. Ali Hirsch and Danika Tintzman, Whitefish
  4. Bethany Barnes and Emma Trieweiler, Whitefish

Public Forum Debate

  1. Sophie Tabor and Stacia Tremper, Whitefish
  2. Brayden Crawford and Aiden Rohn, Columbia Falls
  3. Addie Blackaby and Zoe Tremper, Whitefish
  4. Rachel Rowles and Dashiell Schindler, Whitefish

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

  1. Eddie Chisholm, Columbia Falls
  2. Luca Welle, Whitefish

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