May 30, 2020
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270 students compete in speech, debate tourney

ORONO, Maine — A handful of high school students from eastern and northern Maine came away with first place finishes at a recent statewide speech and debate tournament held by the Maine Forensics Association.

The competition, held Jan. 30 at University of Maine, included approximately 270 students from 25 schools throughout the state. The students competed in various categories that required them to recite written materials such as prose and poetry and to debate certain issues. There were 20 separate competitive events, ranging from dramatic interpretation to extemporaneous speaking and poetry reading.

Carson Foley of Orono High School won first-place prizes in the duo interpretation and humorous interpretation categories. Teaming up with Foley for the first place win in duo interpretation was fellow Orono High School student Norah Bird, who also placed third in original oratory.

Also in the speech division, Summer Keith of Mount Desert Island High School won first place in the novice poetry reading category, while fellow MDI student Maddy Johnson placed second in oratorical declamation. Johnson also came in third in prose reading while classmate Amberosity Davis came in third in the novice prose reading competition.

Emily Pineo of Skowhegan High School finished second in the storytelling competition while Skowhegan finished fourth overall in the speech division.

Eight students from Bangor High School finished in either fourth place or better in public forum debate competitions. Cheng Chen and Andy Chen teamed up to place third in the novice public forum debate. In the varsity public forum debate, Ben Claeson and Caleb Shortt came in second, Andrew Audibert and Henry Chai came in third, and McKenna Unobskey and Mary Beth Case came in fourth.

In the student congress division, Rami Blair of Bangor High School won first place in the individual Senate category. Bangor High School was the overall winner in the tournament’s debate division and finished third overall in the student congress division.

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