The Road to Nationals for Talking Saints
HELENA – The Carroll College Talking Saints advanced three teams to the championship rounds of the Western States Debate Championships hosted in (virtual) Denver on March 28-29. Senior Josh Mansfield of Pocatello, Idaho, and sophomore Hellie Badaruddin of Missoula, finished second. The University of Denver won the tournament.
Vinny Gallardo, a sophomore from Butte, was named 10th best speaker. Gallardo and sophomore Roisin O’Neill of Lake Oswego, Oregon, reached the semifinals. Senior Teigen Tremper of Whitefish and junior Taylor Potts of Great Falls were quarterfinalists.
“Denver was a lot of fun because it felt like everyone on the team was at the top of their game,” said Mansfield. “Towards the end of the tournament, we were mostly competing against our own teammates to go forward. We really focused on having fun this tournament, and I think that was huge.”
The debaters appreciated the high quality of the event.
“I thought it was an excellent tournament with good motions and great judges and competitors,” said O’Neill. “I learned a lot and it was a great warm-up for Nationals.”
Competing at the University of Southern California (USC) earlier on February 28, the first-year team of Ally Haegele of Helena and Matt Glimm of Kalispell, reached the championship round in the novice division.
Western States and USC tournaments were the last “national warm-up” events on the Talking Saints’ path before competing (virtually) at the national championships at the University of Pennsylvania, April 17-19.
“These two tournaments were both packed with top teams headed to nationals at Penn,” said coach Brent Northup. “Having four teams in championship rounds in those fields is encouraging. I doubt the Ivies are afraid of us, but our teams are working very hard every week to get ready to meet Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and friends in a couple of weeks. Josh was only a point away from the championship rounds at nationals last time, so he and Hellie would love to finish his career in style. Our other teams have a shot, too. They’re all primed.”
Carroll will send three upperclass teams and two first-year teams to the national debate finals.
“We love to see new teams earn nationals, because they are the future,” said Northup. “They are bright gentle souls who are tough but caring in rounds. Nice ambassadors for Carroll.”