The Bozeman High School Hawkers Speech and Debate team finished off the regular season by winning the National Speech and Debate Association Montana District Qualifying Tournament this weekend at Helena High School.

The Hawkers won the overall Sweepstakes Award, while Kalispell’s Glacier High School won second place and Flathead High School took third. Twenty-two schools, including all 14 of Montana’s largest AA schools, participated in the tournament.

Bozeman head coach Adam Thane said the team’s overall win was led by an incredibly strong showing in the debate events. The Hawkers won the top four places in Public Forum Debate.

Bozeman High qualified eight of the 13 debaters who will represent Montana at the National Speech and Debate Association’s High School National Tournament, to be held in June in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bozeman qualified four more students in speech, to bring the school’s total to 12 National Qualifiers.

The Hawkers’ National Qualifiers are:

n Public Forum Debate, partners Pushya Krishna and Augusta Reinhart, who won first at the tournament, and partners Malachi Reynolds and Katie Gregoire, who won second.

n Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Katie Ellig, who won second, and Dyllan Hankins, who won third.

n Policy Debate, partners Easton Kelley and Ruby Lenard, who won second.

n Dramatic interpretation, Favour Bright, who won first.

n Program Oral Interpretation, Christly Bright, who won first.

n Informative Speaking, Scarlytt Long, who won second.

n Humorous Interpretation, Kiki McMahon, who placed fifth.

“It was a great end to a phenomenal season,” Thane said. The students who competed at the national qualifier, he said, “are a phenomenal group of competitors, only nine of whom we lose to graduation. I couldn’t be prouder of the way they ended the year.”

Other Hawkers had the following results:

n Public Forum Debate, partners Colton Lipfert and Kaitlyn Krushefski came in third and are the first alternate for nationals; partners Corrina Kitchen and Michelle O’Shea came in fourth and are second alternate.

n U.S. Extemporaneous, Owen Burroughs won fourth and is first alternate.

n Duo Interpretation, partners Favour Bright and Sienna Geddes placed fourth and are first alternate.

n Informative Speaking, Macy Anne Thompson placed fifth.

n Original oratory, Garret Nielson placed fourth and is second alternate.

n Congressional Debate-House, Aiden Farmer placed fourth and is first alternate.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at 406-582-2633 or

Gail Schontzler covers schools and Montana State University for the Chronicle.

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