The Grand County High School Speech and Debate Team posed for a group photo. Coach Carrie Strecker (front row, left) is pictured with Cody Gatlin, Florencia Hernandez, Miranda Corbin, Emma Millis, Zella Ceniceros (second row, left) Caylee Stroder, Aidan Guzman-Newton, Grace Osusky, Phillip Geiser, Diego Winn, James Ritchey, Rowan Murdock (third row, left), Kai Wainer and Ty Martinez. [Photo courtesy of Grace Osusky]

The Grand County Speech and Debate Team ended its regular season on Saturday, March 10, at Juab High School, attending the 3A state tournament.

Phillip Geiser, a junior, made it to semifinals in Lincoln-Douglas and placed fourth overall. Senior Grace Osusky was the last one out, meaning she missed advancing to elimination rounds by one placing. Osusky also placed first in foreign extemporaneous speaking, bringing the state champion title home for Grand. Sophomores Ty Martinez and Diego Winn made it to “Bloodbath Congress,” which is the finals round for congress. Martinez placed fourth overall, but placed second in his finals round.

At Stansbury High School the week before, the team attended the national qualifying tournament and had one student qualify. Three students qualified as alternates. Martinez qualified for the national tournament in congress. Senior Aidan Guzman-Newton was an alternate in congress, as was Geiser. Sophomore Miranda Corbin qualified as an alternate for programmed oral interpretation, in which poetry and prose are woven together to convey a message the student feels is powerful and important. Osusky made it to the finals round in extemporaneous speaking, but because the tournament ran so late, the finals round had to be rescheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at Summit Academy High School. After that round, Osusky will know whether she qualified for nationals.

The team has had a fantastic season and is excited to send team members to nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in June and the Tournament of Champions in Kentucky in April.

On Friday, March 16, the team will be hosting a fundraiser in the Grand County High School auditorium, entitled Night of SpAr. There will be a silent auction, raffle and baked goods for purchase at the event. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the sparring will start at 6:15 p.m. Audience members will have the chance to participate and experience the debate firsthand.