GCHS debaters take fourth place at state tournament
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Mar 27, 2014 | 577 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of Grand County High School’s debate team (back row, from left) Kristin Millis, coach, Brityn Ballard, Skyler Johnson, Stacey Andrus, Nat Smith, Tobin Wainer, Anna Scherer, Ryan Hand, assistant coach, (middle row, from left) Kayla Weston, Emma Sweeney, Deanna Irvin, Robin Willscheidt, Emilia Cubelos, Becca Farnsworth, and (front row, from left) Tarah Holmberg and Meera Edwards, pose after competing at the state tournament.                                                              Photo courtesy of Tim Smith
Members of Grand County High School’s debate team (back row, from left) Kristin Millis, coach, Brityn Ballard, Skyler Johnson, Stacey Andrus, Nat Smith, Tobin Wainer, Anna Scherer, Ryan Hand, assistant coach, (middle row, from left) Kayla Weston, Emma Sweeney, Deanna Irvin, Robin Willscheidt, Emilia Cubelos, Becca Farnsworth, and (front row, from left) Tarah Holmberg and Meera Edwards, pose after competing at the state tournament. Photo courtesy of Tim Smith
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The Grand County High School debate team took fourth place out of 24 teams at the Utah High School Activities Association 1A/2A speech and debate state tournament, which took place March 21 and 22 at Bingham High School.

  According to GCHS head coach Kristin Millis, the Red Devils had three individuals place third in their respective events, with Emma Sweeney taking third in Impromptu, Robin Willscheidt placing third in Oratory, and Deanna Irvin taking third place in Extemporaneous.

  In addition, the Public Forum team of Nat Smith and Emilia Cubelos went 3-1 in the competition, while Irvin and Anna Scherer teamed up to go 2-2 in Public Forum, as did Kayla Weston and Brityn Ballard.

  “All three of our Public Forum teams finished in the top half of the competition,” Millis said, adding that Smith and Cubelos would have made it to the quarterfinals if they had been staged for Public Forum.

  Millis said that some quarterfinals, including those for Public Forum, were eliminated to save time at the tournament.

“Instead, some competitors went directly to semifinal and final competitions,” she noted.

  Another GCHS competitor who would have made quarterfinal round had it been held was Stacey Andrus in Lincoln-Douglas debate, according to Millis.

  Also for Grand, Becca Farnsworth broke into the quarterfinals in the Spar (spontaneous argumentation) category, but did not place.

  “Everyone performed well,” Millis said. “According to ballots, judges had difficult decisions while determining the best speakers and debaters at the competition. I’m very proud of our team and of each team member individually.”

  “Everyone did their best. I am very proud,” added Scherer, a senior who also competed in Impromptu, finishing in the top half of the competition. “It was my last debate tournament ever and I’m so thankful that I spent it with these amazing people.”

  Others who competed for Grand at the state tournament were Skyler Johnson, Tobin Wainer and Meera Edwards, with Tarah Holmberg also attending as an alternate. Ryan Hand served as assistant coach.

  Maeser Preparatory Academy ended up winning the state title in the 1A/2A classification, with Summit Academy, Emery, and Grand rounding out the top four teams at state.

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