The Columbia Falls High School speech and debate team ended its long run of first-place titles in Class A last week as they were edged by Hamilton by three points.
The Wildcats suffered the loss at the Class AA meet in Bozeman on Jan. 11 and 12. Coach Tara Norick said some of the Cats’ better speakers were out, illustrating how it really is a team sport.
“A loss by three points shows how necessary all the members of the team are in contributing points to sweepstakes,” she said.
Still, the coaching staff was pleased with the performances.
“It’s amazing how much dedication, talent and endurance these kids have,” assistant coach Kim Gange said.
The team followed Class A rules in all events to better prepare for divisionals and state tournaments in the coming weeks.
The divisional tourney will take place Saturday in Polson.
The coaching staff will pare down the roster in the next few days in preparation for both tournaments.
The state tournament will take place in Havre on Jan. 25-26.
8th - Erick Franklund and Colter Norick
Lincoln Douglas debate
8th - Kaitlin Barnes
5th - Blake Ladenburg
7th - Meredith Stolte
Memorized public address
9th - Breanna Friar
9th - Blake Ladenburg
9th - Baylee Brinton