Talking Saints Win in Advance of National Championships

Photo L to R: ​Becca Poliquin, Tori Hill, Josh Mansfield, Teigen Tremper. Photo by Peri Dropping
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

HELENA – The Carroll College Talking Saints forensics team won two awards at the 2018 United States University Western Debate Championships hosted by Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, on March 24-26.

The senior Carroll team of Tori Hill of Sidney, Montana, and Becca Poliquin of Hamilton, Montana, advanced to the semifinals of the open division.

The first-year team of Teigen Tremper of Whitefish, Montana, and Josh Mansfield of Pocatello, Idaho, won the novice division.

More than 60 teams from eight states and two countries competed at a tournament designed to provide top competition for teams prior to the national championships at Stanford University in April. The teams completed eight preliminary rounds before heading to single-elimination playoffs.

All eight of the Carroll debaters enjoyed the rigorous weekend of competition.

“As my debate career winds down, it becomes incredibly obvious that what I'll miss most is the community I've found, both on this team and in this region,” said Poliquin. “But winning is fun, too.”

For the first-year Carroll team, this marked one of their first adventures into deep water.

“It was certainly a challenging rollercoaster,” said Tremper. “There were a lot of great teams and some very deep and thought-provoking topics. By the end it left me both exhausted and very glad to have been a part of it, and to have had such an amazing team surrounding me and competing beside me to represent.”

Hill welcomed the dialogue about issues that are boiling over in the country right now.

“The open semifinals and novice finals topic was on abolishing the second amendment – a very perceptive topic considering the March for Our Lives happening this weekend all across the country, and even in Helena,” said Hill. “So although we couldn't be attending the marches, we were engaging in a dialogue about gun reform with other students. It's so important we have these conversations in all of these spaces – in classrooms as well as on the streets of our communities.”

Hill and Poliquin head for Vermont on Easter weekend to compete against Yale, Cornell and other top East Coast teams in the final warm-up before Stanford nationals on April 11-13 in Palo Alto, California. Four Carroll teams will compete at debate nationals.

Sophomore Michael Fuller of Helena has qualified in five events for the National Individual Events Tournament in Colorado Springs on April 7-9.