Students gear up for war of words

Steamboat, Hayden to compete in home speech tournament

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— Some of Colorado's best high school speakers will gather in Steamboat Springs on Saturday to compete in an all-day speech tournament.

About 15 Steamboat Springs High School students will manage and compete in the 27th annual Steamboat Springs High School Speech Tournament. Teams from Hayden, Rangely, Battle Mountain, Moffat County and Niwot also are expected to compete Saturday, Steamboat co-coach Shauna Lamansky said.

Although tournament attendance has waned during the past few years, Lamansky expects about 100 students to participate in such speaking events as public forum, original oratory, extemporaneous speaking, interpretation and creative storytelling.

Public forum consists of two students debating a current topic against two other students. Original oratory allows students to take his or her original idea and present a speech about it. Extemporaneous speaking gives a student a question about an international or national event and 30 minutes to prepare a speech addressing that question. Interpretation includes humor, drama, poetry or duo, in which a student or students take material from a book or play and pair it with a speech. Creative storytelling gives a student a character, setting and situation, and the student has to create a story using that information.

Students will compete from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend any of the events, Lamansky said.

"I encourage people to come by and see what speech tournaments are all about," she said.

Students are allowed to compete in two events consisting of three rounds each. The top three students in each category will be awarded a trophy. The next three highest-scoring students will receive a ribbon.

The last tournament in which Steamboat Springs participated was Dec. 9. However, students have practiced regularly to keep their minds sharp, Lamansky said.

"It will be great competition," she said.

Steamboat students can only compete during part of the day because they also are in charge of running the tournament and scheduling participating students and judges, Lamansky said.

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