The Bozeman High School Hawkers won the Bozeman Invitational speech and debate meet this weekend, when 603 students from all over the state competed.

Bozeman's team won first place among the large AA high schools with 159 points, followed by Glacier High with 117 points and Flathead High with 110 points. Among smaller schools, Hamilton won first place and Columbia Falls was second.

“It was a very good showing,” said Adam Thane, the Hawkers' first-year head coach and a Bozeman High English teacher. “I couldn't be more pleased.”

Students from 19 schools competed and were judged by 450 community volunteers, who put in 1,200 hours judging.

Bozeman's debaters did well, Thane said, winning four of the top eight spots in policy debate and three of the top spots in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

On the speech side, Maggie Russell won first place in expository speaking. Students on the speech side of the team are younger and have three new coaches, but “they just keep getting better and better,” Thane said. “I don't think we've hit our stride.”

Next weekend the Hawkers compete in Billings, and at the end of the month they'll travel to Kalispell for the state tournament. The national qualifier will be held in Missoula, to determine which students represent Montana at the National Forensic Tournament in Kansas City.

Here are individual results for Bozeman students:

  • Policy debate: first, Devan Murfitt and Sean Swinford; third, Ben Kelly and Kayleigh Abbott; fourth, Anna Atwell and Ruby Speth; fifth, Monica Robinson and Natasha Sullivan.
  • Novice police debate: third, Nicholas Manship and Lila Rickenbaugh; fourth, Skylar Persio and Devin Mahoney; fifth, Marty Smith and Will Kern; sixth, Ethan Hanley and Joe Kelly.
  • Lincoln Douglas: second, Claire Babcock; third Sean Vandyke; fourth, Kurt Swimley.
  • Novice Lincoln Douglas: third, Hannah Hays; fourth, Malia Bertelsen; fifth, Rachel Oakley; sixth, Emma Bowen.
  • Public forum: fifth, Cameron Tate and Zach Hansen; sixth, Anna Kaveney and Natalie Wilkinson.
  • Extemporaneous speaking: fourth, Peter Crawford-Kahrl.
  • Impromptu speech: third, Anna Donch.
  • Duo interpretation: second, Peter Crawford-Kahrl and Katie Budeski; fourth, Seamus Branch and Nate Breigenzer.
  • Humorous interpretation: eighth, Nate Breigenzer.
  • Memorized public address: fourth, Dani Dayley.
  • Expository speaking: first, Maggie Russell; fourth, Chloe Loeffelholz; seventh, Nancy Rich.


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