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By Greg Overman
Three Forks Head Coach 

Wolves speech wins divisional championship


January 29, 2020

Pictured are members of the Three Forks Speech and Drama Team at last week's Divisional Meet in Columbus. Courtesy photo

The Three Forks Speech and Drama team competed at the divisional tournament on Saturday at Columbus Public Schools, placing as champion in Speech with a score of 131-129.

The Speech team thus remains undefeated in Class B Speech competition going into the state tournament. In winning the tournament the team defeated the current holder of a 35-year state championship win streak in Loyola Sacred Heart.

The team qualified 36 students for the state tournament, which is the most that Three Forks has qualified in the past 10 years. Kalli Miller and Ally Kamps won individual championships. Finn Hanson, Kevin Richards, Lexi Welch, and Hannah Rumelhart placed as runners-up. Also placing in the top four were Dean Buchholz, Aden Lehr, Hannah Wilson, Grace Donnelly, Bailey Partain, Dru Bolender, Lilly Lindquist, Michael Boyd, and Ethan Heagar.

It was certainly an intense day, with all students fighting to qualify for the state tournament. This is the first time, obviously, since I've been coaching here that we have won a divisional championship in speech because of the streak that Loyola holds, the quality of their competition, the intensity that they bring to the divisional and state tournaments. To win by a margin of two points really is uncommon and pretty crazy. That ultimately comes down to one kid, one place, one debate round. It was a fight all the way down to the last second of the tournament and genuinely speaks to the toughness of our kids. We'll see what happens at the state tournament this weekend. There is no doubt that it will be another fight, and our kids will do everything that they can to live up to that.

One event that truly determined the outcome of the tournament was the Lincoln-Douglas debate, which is always difficult and competitive at that level. Our senior in that event this year is Hannah Wilson, and she truly lived up to the pressure by going 3-1 on the day, placing as runner-up. She's turning it on at the end of the season, and she's going to be a key part to that fight at the divisional tournament. Along with Hannah, our upperclassmen had extremely successful days. Kalli Miller, Hannah Rumelhart, Bailey Partain, Alexis Welch, and Ally Kamps lead this team through their intensity and ability to handle pressure. That list collectively possesses 18 years of experience in Speech & Drama, and that showed on Saturday.

Something that showed on Saturday was strength from top to bottom, with Hannah succeeding as a senior, but our freshman succeeding as well. Fin Hansen and Kevin Richards are first-year debaters in Public Forum debate, and the growth and intensity that they have demonstrated this year has been truly impressive. They went 3-0 in the preliminary rounds, qualifying them for finals and placing as runners-up. Dean Buchholz and Aden Lehr have served as models for our younger students in debate, and that leadership has benefited Finn and Kevin.

So now we go into the state tournament at Big Fork. It may seem odd to use the word "fight" in reference to Speech & Drama, but when you watch these kids go into round-after-round, putting their ideas on the line, winning-and-losing debates, working for every single place, "fight" is about the only word that I have. The 36 kids that qualified have one more fight left this season.


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