First-Year Talking Saints Dominate Competition

Friday, November 11, 2016

In photo: Talking Saints winning debaters (from l to r): Kennedy Bahm, Sofia Minudri, Josh Fuller, Gordon Graham, Peri Dropping and Kelsie Watkins

HELENA – The Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team won more than 30 awards, more than half by first-year students, to win the second place sweepstakes award at the Northwest College Trapper Rendezvous in Powell, Wyoming, on November 4-5.

Leading the first-year charge were Kelsie Watkins of Snohomish, Washington, with four awards including two awards in BP World Debate plus recognition in extemporaneous and impromptu. Frosh with three awards included Kennedy Bahm of Missoula, Peri Dropping of Redmond, Washington, Sofia Minudri of Moscow, Idaho, Michael Fuller of Helena and Gordon Graham of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Fuller won first place in program oral interpretation, with Becca Poliquin, a junior from Hamilton, Montana, finishing third. Frank Stumbo, a sophomore from Shelley, Idaho, also won three awards.

Carroll swept debate, earning three of the four spots in finals, plus winning three of the top five speaker awards. Winning were Minudri and Kennedy. Joining them in finals were Dropping and Watkins as well as Fuller and Graham. All the winning Carroll debate teams consisted of first-year students.

Carroll was also dominant in impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, with 13 team members advancing to championship rounds in those events. Carroll’s experienced debate teams mostly sat out the tournament, helping mentor younger teams instead of competing. The full squad will compete together at Linfield on November 18-20.

"Our 28-person team is young this year with no seniors and 12 new members," said coach Brent Northup. "So to see the young members shine is wonderful. They’ve worked hard – and served notice to our upper class that they best keep an eye on their rearview mirrors. That’s healthy."