Havre speakers do well at state tournament


The Havre High School speech and debate team, taking a relatively young set of speakers, did well at the 2011 state tournament in Laurel this weekend, although none could quite make it on stage by breaking into the top eight in their event.

Havre qualified 14 competitors at divisionals, including two fourth-year speakers and eight first-year team members. The top six in each event from each of the four Class A divisions qualify to compete at state.

Teresa Buerkle finishes ninth in Lincoln-Douglas

The top finisher for Havre at Laurel was fourth-year Lincoln-Douglas debater Teresa Buerkle, who placed ninth.

Buerkle went 2-2 at the tournament, finishing with 112 cumulative speaker points in the four preliminary rounds. She missed breaking into single-elimination outrounds by two points.

Buerkle defeated a Beaverhead County High School debater from Dillon in the first round, before falling in a close match to a Laurel debater the second. She rebounded with a win over a Hamilton debater the third round, scoring perfect speaker points in the round, then lost the fourth round in a close match Saturday morning to a Billings Central High School debater.

Julette Don finishes 16th

Her Lincoln-Douglas squadmates, first-year Havre competitors Juletta Don and Jordyn Eastlick, also performed well for Havre.

Don lost to a Billings Central debater the first round, before coming back to defeat a Browning High School debater the second. She lost her next two rounds, to debaters from Belgrade and Laurel, but her high speaker points put her in 16th place at state,

Eastlick lost all four rounds in close decisions, to debaters from Columbia Falls, Laurel, Beaverhead County and Hamilton.

In team debate, the first-year policy debaters Alexandra Seigel and Colton Wedding and the team of fourth-year speaker Rebekah Martin and her teammate, second-year debater Nathan Ramsbacher, both went 2-2 with high enough speaker points to rank them at the tournament.

Seigel and Wedding placed 10th, rebounding from a first-round loss against a Columbia Falls team to defeat a team from host Laurel in the second round. After another loss to a team third round, they defeated a team from Columbia Falls in the fourth and final preliminary round Saturday.

Martin and Rambsbacher lost the first two rounds in close decisions, to teams from Stevensville and Billings Central, but rebounded to win the next rounds against debaters from Hamilton and Belgrade. The Havre team ended in 12th place at Laurel.

Second-year competitor Carson Pollington, competing in serious oral interpretation of literature, was the only Havre competitor to break into outrounds in an individual speaking event by making it into the top 16 after preliminary-round rankings.

Pollington, interpreting a cutting of a dramatic adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank," scored highly in the preliminary rounds, breaking into semifinals. He placed 16thk in serious interpretation.

His Havre squadmate, first-year competitor Kelly Albright, scored highly in some rounds with his interpretation of Nikki Six's book, "The Heroin Diaries," but did not make the cut to semifinals. Albright ended in 19th place in the highly competitive event.

In humorous oral interpretation of literature, perhaps the most hotly contested event in the individual speaking category, second-year Havre competitor Samantha French just missed making outrounds.

French scored highly in the preliminary rounds with her cutting of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," but lost a tie-breaking procedure to make it into semifinals. She ended in 17th place at state.

Freshman Carlee Klimas also just missed making it into semifinals. Her preliminary scores in memorized public address for her speech ¾ Mary Fisher's presentation on HIV at the 1992 Republican National Convention ¾ put her in a tie to make it into outrounds. Klimas lost a tie-breaking procedure to end in 17th place.

Her Havre squadmate, freshman Paige Schwartz, doing an MPA on Margaret Sanger's 1925 speech "The Children's Era," also came close to breaking into semifinals. Schwartz ended in 18th place in the event.

Freshman Tyler Zuidema, performing an informative speech about constellations and astronomy in expository speaking, ended in a tie for 20th place in her event at state.

Second-year Havre impromptu speaker Kaitlyn McKnight ended in a tie for 21st-place in that event, where the speakers prepare a presentation on a topic given to them at the beginning of the round.

Alex Quintero, who placed eighth at divisionals for Havre in the highly competitive event, performing an entertaining presentation of Dr. Seuss's "Fox in Socks," traveled to the tournament as a second-alternate competitor.

The team now has two weeks off to prepare for the National Forensic League national tournament qualifier, set for Feb. 11-12 in Bozeman. The top speakers in events at that tournament will qualify for the national tournament, set this year for June 13-18 in Dallas, Texas.


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