Newest Talking Saints Find Success with Virtual Tournaments

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

HELENA –The eight newest members of the Carroll College Talking Saints entered two novice tournaments, reserved for first year students, and all eight Carroll students won awards, including top speaker. All four teams advanced to championship rounds at least once, and they added six top-10 speaker awards – with three more Saints coming in at 11th.

“Some of these newcomers started from zero, with no prior experience and to see them already starting to excel was so encouraging,” said coach Brent Northup. “But they are also quite competitive and I think they may have classified their results as a B+, and that’s a grade that truly annoys A students. Their journey is just beginning. Color me optimistic.”

At the Teaching Tournament on September 18-20, hosted virtually by Carroll, Elaina Goulet of East Wenatchee, Washington, and Josie Howlett of Bigfork, Montana, reached the finals in a competitive field that attracted 36 teams from eight states, including entries from the University of Mississippi and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Ally Haegele of Helena won top speaker, with Goulet third, Howlett fifth, and Matt Glimm of Kalispell seventh. One spot away from recognition, in 11th, were Melissa Jagelski of Ontario, Oregon, and her partner Elissa Mazkour of Beirut, Lebanon.

At the University of Calgary Fall Open on October 3-4, three Carroll teams reached the semifinals, including Glimm and Hagele, Jagelski and Mazkour, plus Finlay Bates of Forest Grove, Oregon, and Sarah Osmon of Ontario, Oregon. Glim was named fifth best speaker, and Bates was ninth, with Hagele next in 11th.

“Competing against teams from throughout Western Canada was a great experience,” said Northup.  “Three of the eight teams in the semis were from Carroll, which prompted one of the Calgary hosts to say that Carroll ‘really killed it this weekend.’”

Both tournaments were conducted virtually on different software platforms. The Carroll teams each were stationed alone in a Carroll classroom, with COVID precautions. Between rounds, the team would gather outside to enjoy box lunches from Dining Services. At day’s end, the group chose their rewards: Dairy Queen ice cream cones.

“Both tournaments brought my partner Melissa and I closer,” said Mazkour. “We began to complete one another. A great experience, even despite not making finals.”