Forensics team fares well at Niwot |

Forensics team fares well at Niwot

Lopez places first in two visits

Melinda Mawdsley

Blaise Holden, left, goofs around during the Steamboat Springs High School forensics team's practice Tuesday. The team is hosting Performance Night for the community at 7 p.m. Friday.

— Standing up for what she believes in paid dividends last weekend for Steamboat Springs freshman Molly Parsons.

Parsons led a strong Steamboat charge during Saturday’s forensics tournament at Niwot High School. Steamboat’s forensics team was the only Western Slope squad to compete in the 22-team tournament in Longmont.

Parsons placed second in the Student Congress competition and placed third in the original oratory event for her speech “The Blame Game.”

“It’s about taking responsibility for your own actions,” Parsons about her original oratory topic. “It is encouraging people to take responsibility for your own actions.”

Steamboat’s Laura Holt-

hausen placed fifth in original oratory.

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Parsons also was named the Superior Speaker in the Student Congress event for her supportive argument for legislation supporting automatic organ donation.

Teammate Ashley Lopez was named Outstanding Speaker in the Student Congress event, placing first. Teammates Josie Pacana and Holthausen also fared well in Student Congress.

Pacana believes in organ donation, but she wanted the chance to debate, so she argued against legislation making organ donation automatic in Oregon.

Pacana said it can be difficult to formulate a convincing argument about something she doesn’t believe in, “but it can be fun at the same time.”

In addition to winning the Student Congress event, Lopez placed first in international extemporaneous speaking. She was the only competitor in the event to take first in all three rounds of competition.

Lopez won because of her speech about the leftist explosion in governments of Latin America, but she also has delivered speeches on immigration and arms sales.

“We have to be ready for anything,” said Lopez, who started international extemporaneous speaking because it had fewer competitors than national extemporaneous speaking. “I really got into it. I like to know what’s going on in the world.”

Lopez prepares by reading The Economist and other magazine articles on the Internet because she has to cite sources in her speech.

“I like to cite five or six per speech,” Lopez said.

The Niwot tournament is one of Steamboat’s largest tournaments of the season and one of the team’s toughest challenges because the local speakers and debaters square off against students from larger Front Range schools.

Coach Marty Lamansky called the tournament results “truly outstanding.”

“This shows that we have the potential to stack up well against almost any team in the state,” he added.

The Steamboat forensics team won’t compete again until it hosts a tournament Jan. 13, but the team is staging a community event from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the high school.

Performance Night will give forensics team members the chance to deliver unique speeches in front of the Steamboat community. Parsons is looking forward to her special speech Friday.

“I’m giving a tribute speech to Mr. (Brian) Houston,” she said. “He was my teacher at Christian Heritage School last year, and a lot of people in the community did know him.”

Houston died in a motorcycle accident in March.

Friday’s performances are free, and the team hopes the evening will provide some insight into what a high school forensics team does.

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