Grand County High School Speech and Debate Team members gathered for a group photo. Miranda Corbin (back row, left) is pictured with Rowan Murdock, Emma Millis, Kai Wainer, Aidan Guzman-Newton, Phillip Geiser, Grace Osusky, Caylee Stroder, Coach Carrie Strecker, Cody Gatlin (front row, left), Florencia Hernandez, Ty Martinez and Diego Winn. [Courtesy photo]

At Grand County High School on Friday, Dec. 15, and Saturday, Dec. 16, the Grand County Speech and Debate Team held its home tournament, the Red Rock Classic.

Students from all over the state attended, including participants from Snow Canyon in the St. George area and others from upstate Utah, representing schools such as Salem Hills and Summit Academy. Ninety-six students entered the Spontaneous Argumentation event – also known as SpAr – and about 90 entered in impromptu. The tournament ran on time and was themed after “Star Wars,” a nod to the new “Star Wars” movie that premiered the same weekend.

Grand County Speech and Debate students fared well overall.

Phillip Geiser and Caylee Stroder were tied for first place in Lincoln-Douglas debate, with Grace Osusky placing second, with half a speaker point less than Stroder and Geiser. Aidan Guzman-Newton placed third in Lincoln-Douglas, having one speaker point less than Osusky.

Speaker points were given based on how well the debaters presented their arguments in the debate.

Osusky also placed second in extemporaneous speaking. Geiser placed 11th out of almost 90 competitors in impromptu. Ty Martinez, a sophomore, placed eighth in extemporaneous speaking and first in his congressional house. Diego Winn, a freshman, also placed in congress.

Sophomore Miranda Corbin placed sixth in POI, which consists of compiling poems and prose with common themes to convey a message that the presenter views as important. Corbin and her public forum partner, Jaidyn Thomas, went undefeated in public forum, as did junior Kai Wainer and his partner, sophomore Emma Millis.

Wainer also placed 12th in extemporaneous speaking and sixth in storytelling, where he presented an origin story of the spider, and why the spider’s head appears to be on its rear.

The team will next compete in January 2018 at Arizona State University against schools from all over the country.