Laurel Forensics take third at State A tournament

By Liz Schwartz
Special to the Outlook

The LHS speech, drama, and debate squad competed with the crème de la crème of Montana Class A in the 2017 state speech, drama and debate tournament hosted on it’s home turf at Laurel High School. The teams clinched third place overall in both the Class A Speech Sweepstakes and Drama Sweepstakes. Columbia Falls took home first place in speech sweepstakes and Whitefish took second. In drama, Corvallis took first and Belgrade took second. Laurel was the only school to place in the top three in both sweepstakes.
A first, second and third place sweep by Ben Longbottom, Jacob Stewart and Austin Amestoy in Lincoln Douglas Debate propelled the speech and debate squad to victory. Other Speech squad state finalists were: Hannah Kopp, second in humorous interpretation; Zoe Thomae and Kennedy Deming, third in public forum debate; Cara Goeke and Corinna Bickel, sixth in public forum debate; and Trinitee Powell, seventh in original oratory. Also competing for the speech squad and earning team points were Brandon Steppe (semifinalist) in oratory, Will Russell (semifinalist) in impromptu, Marley Merchen (semifinalist) in extemporaneous, Hannah Kopp (semifinalist) in memorized public address, Rylee Johnson and Teresa Twichel in informational speaking, Trever White (semifinalist) and Samantha Ellingson in humorous interpretation and Andrew Sutton in dramatic interpretation.
State champion, Abigail Hillis, who took first place in pantomime topped the drama squad performance. Other drama squad finishers were: Cierra Metcalf, sixth place in humorous solo, Brynnan Miller and Abigail Peterson, seventh place in humorous duo and Cierra Metcalf and Jessamyn Reichert, seventh place in dramatic duo acting. Also competing for the drama squad were Taylor Nobel and Megan Maida (semifinalist) in classical duo, Sydney Olson in dramatic solo, Halie Tisdale (semifinalist) in humorous solo, Sydney Olson and Bailey Brockman in classical duo, and HannahBelle Peterson (semifinalist) in humorous solo.
Laurel coaches Liz Schwartz, Dan Johnson, Doug Andersen and Daniel Porisch appreciate Laurel Public Schools and the Laurel community for supporting speech, drama and debate. The team worked hard and made the season a success.

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