Talking Saints Share Regional Crown for 25th Straight Year

The Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team won more than 40 awards and earned a share of the regional championship for the 25th consecutive year at the regional tournament held at Western Washington University on January 30-February 1. Whitworth University won the tournament, with the Talking Saints a close second.

One week later on February 7, Carroll qualified three students for the National Individual Events Tournament at the district tournament in Corvallis, Oregon. Juniors Hanna Hillier and Desirae Kivett and sophomore A.J. Kelso are headed to the national championships at Lewis & Clark College on April 4.

Carroll will also send four World Debate teams to the national championships in Anchorage, Alaska, April 10-13.

At Western Washington Carroll dominated World Debate, sweeping the top three places in the junior division and winning the open division. Carroll won eight World Debate speaker awards and freshman Ryan Kotek was named the region’s "rookie of the year," winning the Orv Iverson award.

"It was a stunning weekend, actually," said coach Brent Northup. "The debaters had their best tournament of the year and the frosh stepped up and dominated their events. We even managed to see the Super Bowl during dinner on the way home, avoiding mutiny. We enjoyed all but the final 20 seconds of that game."

Ryan Kotek of Boise led the squad winning both novice extemporaneous speaking and novice impromptu, while placing second in Junior World Debate and third in prose.

Ryden Meyer, a junior from Portland, and Mark Schmutzler, a junior from Helena, won their second regional tournament in World Debate, taking the second and third place speaker awards, respectively.

Three of the four teams in the junior World finals were from Carroll, including the winners junior Nick Modrow of Billings and sophomore A.J. Kelso of Longmont, Colorado. The other Carroll final teams were Kotek and Becca Poliquin of Hamilton, Montana, and Tori Hill of Sidney, Montana and Luke Kendall of Stevensville, Montana.

Carroll swept the top four places in novice prose and the top three in novice impromptu. Poliquin won prose, followed by freshman Freddy Gray of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Kotek and Kendall. Kotek won impromptu, followed by Poliquin and Hill.

Jake MacDuff, a freshman from Seattle, placed second in junior impromptu. Hanna Hiller, a junior from Jerome, Idaho, reached finals in three open interpretation events.