A busy second half of the season for the Steamboat Springs High School speech team begins Jan. 10 when it hosts the 24th annual Steamboat Springs Invitational Tournament.
The home tournament will provide a travel break for the 11-member team, which already has competed in several Front Range tournaments this year.
The Dec. 13 Cherry Creek Winter Wonder Invitational Tournament was the largest competition attended by the team this year. More than 40 schools from across the state participated in the event, and several Sailors performed well, co-coach Shauna Lamansky said.
Junior Amanda Toy was the team's only finalist, earning third place in national extemporaneous speaking.
Joey Andrew was awarded a superior ribbon after failing to make the final round in the oratory event by just a few speaker points, Lamansky said. Patrick Kuckowski earned a superior ribbon for his performance in foreign extemporaneous speaking.
Team members Dana Schlingman and Catherine Mann and Lydia Kindred were awarded excellent ribbons in the oratory and duo interpretation team events, respectively.
Kelly Shaw was nominated for the speaker position in her chamber of the student congress event.
Lamansky said tournament experience is starting to pay off for the inexperienced squad.
"They're really close to breaking through and getting awards," Lamansky said. "They're still really enthusiastic. They're working really hard and are ready to be successful."
The early season tournaments, including a 26-school event held in Denver in November, have given members of the team an opportunity to get comfortable with tournament formats and events and to learn the techniques used by top-level opponents, Lamansky said.
"We try to take them to a lot of events to give them a sense for different sized tournaments and different levels of competition," she said. "It definitely prepares them (for bigger tournaments later in the season)."
Preparations for January's home tournament already have begun, with team members ordering trophies, copying ballots and recruiting volunteers, Lamansky said. The team is expecting 10 to15 schools to attend the one-day tournament, which could feature as many as 200 student competitors.
As with home tournaments in previous years, the speech team is relying on volunteers to fill much-needed judging positions. About 60 judges are needed for the event, Lamansky said. A training session will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. at the high school Jan. 7 to ensure all volunteer judges understand the rules and criteria for evaluating competitions. For more information about volunteering for the tournament call Shauna or Marty Lamansky at 879-1562, or ask any member of the Sailors speech team.
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