Above pictured L to R: Kaden Crozier, Katy Keim, Ashlynne Jeffries, and Brad Tomasovic
HELENA – The Carroll College Talking Saints spent October competing against the world’s best, achieving some successes and making lots of new friends from Saskatoon to Tokyo.
The first-year members drove to Calgary for a novice tournament on October 21-22.
Team members also competed online in Ontario, Canada, October 7-8, joining 107 teams from 27 countries from five continents.
The novices won major awards in Alberta, finishing second and winning top speaker in the tournament.
First-years Ashlynne Jeffries of Vancouver, Washington, and Brad Tomasovic of Great Falls, were the runners up, losing to a home team from Calgary in the finals. Tomasovic was named top speaker, and Jeffries was ninth. First-year Katy Keim of Moscow, Idaho, and sophomore Kaden Crozier of Kalispell were the seventh ranked team, with Crozier being recognized as second speaker.
“After the first round, I made friends with a team from Saskatoon and we were cheering each other on the rest of the weekend,” said Jeffries. “When Brad and I broke to finals, they ran up to us and gave us the biggest hugs. It's those little moments that made Calgary all the more special. I'm so proud of all of our teams, forensics is a family I wouldn't trade for the world.”
The team had time to see downtown Calgary. Some shopped at a modern mall, and others were hungry for international cuisine.
“Chinatown was incredible,” said Tomasovic.
The six-hour drive home was easy, with good memories in tow.
“I took a piece of Canadian kindness back to America with me!” said Hadley Wilcox from Kennewick, Washington. “Got an American flag-Canadian flag pin to commemorate the trip, and will be wearing it on my blazer during the next Canadian adventure!”
The team won rounds against top teams at the online Ontario event, but did not advance to championship rounds. The huge field included teams from India, Tokyo, Bucharest, Ghana, and New Zealand.
“The team loves in-person events, but online competition allows Carroll students to hear perspectives on current events from a diverse global perspective,” said coach Brent Northup. “We could never afford to attend tournaments in person on five continents, but we met teams from everywhere that weekend. It was both humbling and exhilarating.”