High School debate team wins big at tourney
Long hours of research pays off for students
Steamboat Springs — In one of their smaller tournaments of the season, the Steamboat Springs High School debate team won big Saturday at home.
The team walked away with 13 individual awards.
Several underclassmen and older first-time members contributed to the team’s success.
The Sailors showed depth that should help them in the weeks leading up to the state tournament in Denver, said Sailors debate coach Marty Lamansky.
Lamansky’s debaters will be on the road the next five weekends, beginning with a tournament this weekend at Skyline High School in Longmont.
“It’s going to be tough from here on out,” Lamansky said.
The bulk of the Sailors’ awards came from humor and extemporaneous speaking events.
Freshman Justin Krause, senior Jenni Stanford and freshman Simon Kassemi swept the top three spots in foreign extemporaneous speaking.
Lamansky said the freshmen’s strong showing bodes well for the team’s future performance.
“They’re doing great, and now we need to look on improving the other events,” he said.
First-place finisher Krause said he was pleased with his team’s showing Saturday, but for now the team needed to concentrate on the rest of the season.
“We had the top three,” he said. “That’s excellent.”
As the Sailors move toward the height of their debate season, the need to constantly improve becomes greater, said Stanford, who finished just behind teammate Krause.
“We are moving into the most important part of our season,” Stanford said.
Almost half of the Steamboat Springs High School debate team competes in one of the two extemporaneous events.
Senior Julie Lewis, sophomore Joey Andrew, senior Jesse Marshall and junior Megan Mistr finished first, second, third and sixth, respectively, in national extemporaneous speaking.
Lewis, who took first in the same event at the same tournament last year, said she was pleased with her repeat performance but wanted to make some improvements by the state tournament.
The great effort put forth by her teammates ensured that all eight extemporaneous debaters reached the final round of foreign or national extemporaneous speaking, Lewis said.
The Sailors put in long hours of research and practice, which paid off in a strong finish, Lamansky said.
The Sailors captured four out of six top finishes in the humor event.
Junior Beth Ann Ludwig, senior Ben MacCarthy, freshman Kelly Larson and junior Ian Noyer took home first, third, fourth and sixth, respectively.
Ludwig said she was surprised by her finish and looked forward to building upon her first-place showing in the coming weekends.
In drama, senior Loren Cogswell placed sixth and in original oratory, freshman Kelsey Patterson finished third.
Thirteen high schools competed in the daylong event at Steamboat Springs High School. About 60 judges from the community donated their time.
The Sailors will again host teams for the state qualifying tournament at the beginning of March.
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