Talking Saints Win 26 Awards

Monday, November 22, 2021

HELENA – The Carroll College Talking Saints won 26 awards, including third place in Division I sweepstakes at the Linfield College Tournament on November 12-14. Hosted virtually from McMinnville, Oregon, Linfield’s Mahaffey Tournament is one of three regional championship events.

Fourteen different Carroll students won recognition, led by first-year student Angelica Sutton of Wolf Point, Montana, who won four awards. Sutton won novice extemp, finished second in novice impromptu, was named third best speaker in junior BP debate and with partner Emma Peterson, of Belgrade, Montana, reached finals of junior debate.

“Angelica’s wonderful weekend comes with a pretty good story,” said coach Brent Northup. “Angelica was finishing up her 30 minutes of preparation for her extemporaneous speech, when she suddenly realized she had prepared the wrong topic. With seven minutes to showtime, she redirected her research to Afghanistan foreign policy and then calmly proceeded to win the round. Now there’s a skill that will serve her for a lifetime – cool-headed response to a self-induced crisis.

Junior Brady Clark of Madison, Wisconsin, joined Sutton as a first-place winner by finishing first in junior extemporaneous speaking.

The team’s success was broad, spread across debate, interpretation and short prep events. Carroll advanced three teams to the championship rounds of debate, won eight speaker awards in debate, earned six finals spots in interpretation, and eight more in impromptu and extemp.

Two of the four teams in finals of junior debate were first-year teams from Carroll, with Anna Brown of Olympia, Washington, and Katie Payne of Helena, finishing second. Four of the six finalists in novice prose were Talking Saints. Juniors Mariah Hurd of Seattle and Nicole Williams of Seeley Lake, Montana, were both finalists in poetry.

Multiple award winners included Brown and junior Vicente Gallardo of Butte who each won three awards. Winning two awards were first-year students Peterson, June LePage of Lewistown, Montana, Madi MacDonald of Missoula, and junior Roisin O’Neill of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Northup says the team has reluctantly adjusted to online competition, and some new traditions are evolving.

“Students mostly compete with laptops from classrooms around campus, and don’t really interact much during the weekend,” said Northup. “So students are coming together in auditoriums or in the team room to cheer for their teammates during online final rounds. More than a dozen students were snuggled onto couches in the forensics room to cheer wildly as their teammates spoke. We also had numerous parents who watched their kids compete via online links. We’re doing our best to build community in an online world.”

The students enjoyed having mom and dad “in the stands” at their game.

“My grandmother said I spoke very eloquently,” said Clark, smiling. “And my dad said he was proud.”

The team turned watching the final round of junior debate into a contest.

“We had bingo cards that had items like ‘Angelica will wave her hands’ and ‘Katie will use a metaphor,’” said one team member. “We were like the student section at a football game cheering wildly.”

The Talking Saints “regular season” concludes on January 28 with the final regional championship tournament hosted virtually by Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.