When evaluating speech tournaments, size doesn't always matter.
Take, for example, last weekend's 24th annual Steamboat Springs Invitational Tournament.
Only eight schools, most from the Western Slope and mountain leagues, traveled to Steamboat for the tournament, but the participants provided stiff competition for the 10-member Sailors team, co-coach Shauna Lamansky said.
Some tournaments the team has attended this school year attracted more than 40 schools from across the state.
Several Sailors produced strong performances during the rare home event, most notably juniors Amanda Toy, Patrick Kuczkowski, Kelly Shaw and Stephanie Engle.
Toy placed first in the extemporaneous speaking event and Kuczkowski took second.
The team of Shaw and Engle finished first in public forum debate with a 2-1 record.
Several other Sailors placed during the tournament, including senior Joey Andrew, who finished fourth in the original oratory competition, and junior Dana Schlingman, who placed sixth in the same event. Schlingman's sixth-place finish was the first time she placed this season, Lamansky said.
Sophomore Kimberly Lewis received an excellent ribbon for her efforts in original oratory, and the team of Lydia Kindred and Catherine Mann earned a superior ribbon in the duo interpretation event for a humorous skit they performed.
Hayden High School student Hannah Williams placed fourth in both the humor and storytelling events.
The home tournament, which relied on volunteer judges and the administrative efforts of Steamboat speech team members, marked the beginning of a busy second half of the season for the Sailors. The team travels to Palisade this week for another tournament and hosts, for the second consecutive year, a National Qualifying Congress Tournament at the end of the month. Regional and national tournaments will follow early this spring.
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