Speech and debate teams return from tournament

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Two debate teams from Moffat County High School qualified among the state's top 20 teams during the weekend.

Senior Robert McClellan and sophomore Putt Slonksnes formed one team, and freshmen Michael Zehner and Gavin Thompson formed another. Both teams did well at the state tournament Friday at Arvada High School, coach Eric Hansen said.

"We did really well," Hansen said. "We're a really young team, and every year, we grow."

Hansen, in his second year as the speech and debate coach, said the students have been studying hard since their first tournament in early October. In the past two weeks, the youths practiced at least once a day to prepare for the state competition.

This year, sophomore Emily Norris competed in poetry interpretation, and sophomore Stephanie Day was a late addition to the team, traveling to Arvada for Friday's competition.

Although the teams didn't break into the top 12 ranking needed to continue into the second round of competition Saturday, Hansen is optimistic about the future.

"We will have a lot of upperclassmen next year, and they just keep getting better." Hansen said.

Next up for the team is the National Qualifying Tournament on April 7 and 8 at Longmont High School.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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