Thursday, February 26, 2004
Shauna Lamansky has the Blues Break blues.
Lamansky, who coaches the Steamboat Springs High School speech team with her husband, Marty, said she loves the school district's weeklong mid-winter Blues Break vacation.
But what she and Marty don't like is what the vacation does to their team. Fielding a small squad this year, several team members won't be able to attend the regional speech tournament that begins today in Grand Junction because of family engagements.
"We're hampered a little bit because of Blues Break," Lamansky said Thursday. "But the students who are going are really, really motivated."
The two-day regional tournament will determine which students qualify for the state competition. Typically, the top 20 percent in each event at the regional tournament qualify for states, Lamansky said.
To make up for the three weeks since its last tournament and the weeklong vacation from school for mid-winter break, the team spent much of the past two weeks preparing for the regional event, which is scheduled to include competitors from 14 Western Slope schools.
The team's last tournament was the Feb. 7 Kent Denver/Overland Invitational. Despite taking just seven students, the Sailors placed 10th in the 22-school event.
"They did awesome," Lamansky said. "The whole team's performance helped everyone get to that 10th place."
Amanda Toy placed fifth in national extemporaneous speaking, Lydia Kindred placed sixth in humor, and Kelly Shaw placed sixth in Lincoln-Douglas debate with a record of 2-1.
The team ended January by hosting the prestigious National Forensics League Student Qualifying Congress tournament. The event, which separates competitors into Senates and Houses of Representatives and asks them to debate current political issues, brought almost 100 students from 15 schools to Steamboat.
Four Sailors -- Toy, Joey Andrew, Patrick Kuczkowski and Shaw -- were voted to the final session of the Congress. Shaw was nominated for the national Congress tournament and is seated as the first alternate.
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