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Columbia Falls High School Speech and Debate takes first at season opener

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | October 31, 2023 12:00 AM

Columbia Falls High School took first place and Whitefish High School, third, in Corvallis over the weekend in the first speech and debate tournament of the season for the local Class A teams.

Columbia Falls earned the top spot with 184 overall points. East Helena placed second with 66 overall points followed by Whitefish, with 64 points.

The Columbia Falls team of more than a dozen new competitors is bolstered by 25 returning members from last year’s Class A state championship team, according to head coach Dawn Roe.

“This team has a lot of talent and we look forward to watching the growth as our returning members hone their skills in their favorite events and both old and new members explore new events,” Roe said.

Whitefish head coach Sara Mueller was excited to kick off the season in the top three with a team she said has a combination of “solid returning competitors and some very exciting young, up-and-coming talent.”

“We were smaller in number at the first tournament than we will be later when fall sport team members are able to transition; however, we really held our own against larger teams in Corvallis this weekend,” Mueller said.

On Saturday, the two teams will compete at the Kalispell Kickoff at Glacier High School. The Kalispell Kickoff marks the first tournament of the season for Class AA teams Glacier and Flathead High School. The first round begins at 8 a.m. Rounds will continue every two hours with an awards ceremony set at 6:30 p.m. in the performance hall. People interested in volunteering to judge can register or join a mailing list at www.kalispellspeechdebate.org.

Following are individual results from the Corvallis tournament.


Duo Interpretation

1. Reed Wollenzein and Carson Settles, Columbia Falls

2. Cole Pickert and Unity Loveless, Whitefish 


Humorous Interpretation

1. Kory Moran, Columbia Falls

2. Makinzie Taylor, Columbia Falls


Original Oratory

2. Astir Pulsifer, Whitefish 

7. Brin Shull, Columbia Falls


Informative Speaking

1. Carson Settles, Columbia Falls

3. Ruby Davis, Columbia Falls


Impromptu Speaking

1. Eleanor Smiley, Columbia Falls

2. Mika Bennett, Columbia Falls

4. Ruby Davis, Columbia Falls


Extemporaneous Speaking

2. Sophia Petioni, Columbia Falls

4. Avery Sorensen, Whitefish 

8. Logan Emerson, Columbia Falls


Memorized Public Address

1. Unity Loveless, Whitefish 

2. Merell Cooley, Columbia Falls

4. Eleanor Smiley, Columbia Falls

5. Kira Shanks, Columbia Falls


Public Forum Debate

1. Quinn Caudle and Chris Daenzer, Columbia Falls

4. Jayce McDonald and Brynn McDonald, Whitefish 

6. Alex Losee and Jackson Smith, Whitefish 


Policy Debate

2. Kynsleigh Gould and Eleanor Hollingsworth, Columbia Falls

3. Boone Shanks and Lauren Rogers, Columbia Falls


Lincoln-Douglas Debate

7. Melody McNally, Columbia Falls


Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-441 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.