The Steamboat Springs High School speech and debate team opened its season Saturday with a strong performance, despite missing more than half of its members.
Only seven of the team's 18 competitors traveled to Summit High School in Frisco during the weekend to compete in the Summit County Invitational. At least five team members remained in Steamboat to take the ACT college entrance exam, and several others had family commitments, coach Marty Lamansky said.
But its depleted numbers didn't prevent the team from enjoying a successful start to the long speech and debate season, which includes more than 10 tournaments.
Sixteen teams competed in the Summit County Invitational, providing experienced Sailor debaters with the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and inexperienced Sailors the chance to get a feel for real competition, Lamansky said.
The team's strongest performance was in one-on-one value debate, an event modeled after Lincoln-Douglas debate. One-on-one value debate competitors are given their debate topic 30 minutes before the competition begins, and they don't know which side of the topic they'll debate until a coin-flip immediately before the competition begins.
Of the 43 people who competed in the event, Steamboat fielded two of the top three finishers, including senior Amanda Toy, who placed first. Toy had perfect scores in all three rounds.
"I guess she's picking up where she left off last year," Lamansky said about Toy, who finished strong in the state tournament and a national qualifying tournament in 2003.
Senior Kelly Shaw also fared well, finishing third with a record of 3-0.
Shaw also placed in public forum debate, for which she partnered with teammate Stephanie Engle. The pair finished second in the event.
Engle and junior Suzie Ford received excellent ribbons for their performances in one-on-one value debate. Toy earned an excellent ribbon for her performance in impromptu speaking.
The team's next competition is Nov. 13 in Fort Collins. The Rocky Mountain Invitational at Rocky Mountain High School tends to attract teams from across the state, including many of the teams that regularly compete against Steamboat.
"It's a good early season gauge of where we stand," Lamansky said.