Mac McClintock, Reporter

On Saturday, October seventh, Woodland Park High School hosted their annual forensics meet. The event drew over 200+ participants from 24 schools all over Colorado.  There was a wide variety of events that the students participated in ranging from dramatic monologues to debates.

The forensics team practices every week for about 20 weeks. This is because forensics is unlike most clubs or sports offered at the high school. Woodland Park has a very storied history when it comes to forensics with the school having qualified at least one student for nationals for the past 24 years. This year’s team hopes to continue this stellar trend with several strong team members, such as Zach Melton and Cassidy Allen, who compete in duos, Sage Brown, who competes in dramatic monologue (did not compete in this past tournament), and Lauren Mitchel and Ashlin Hurts, who compete in Lincoln Douglas debate. All of these members have also previously either qualified for nationals (Lauren Mitchel) or were state semi-finalists (Zach Melton, Cassidy Allen, and Sage Brown). This forensics team appears to be in a great position this year to be extremely competitive at all of their debates.

The judges for the debates up here were not previously trained judges, but were rather people who volunteered to help. It is worth mentioning that most of these volunteers were at the high school on a Saturday for close to twelve hours. I personally believe that they did an absolutely amazing job in helping make this large event up possible. Without them the whole forensic meet would not have been possible and deserve to be thanked for their contributions.

The tournament at Woodland Park was set up as follows: there were three qualifying rounds that eventually lead to six finalists being selected in drama and only the top two competing in debate. With over 200 participants, it is truly impressive that Zach Melton and Cassidy Allen both were able to qualify for the finals. Woodland Park as a whole did not have as stellar a performance. They were able not being able to rank in the top three in overall debate. One of the reasons why Woodland Park did not place was because they were hamstrung by not having two of their better members, Sage Brown and Amanda Roth, to compete.

Even without Woodland Park being able to place at their own meet, the forensics team did an amazing job representing our community. Woodland Park High School was also extremely well prepared for the event, having little to no problems utilizing the space provided or having any long delays between rounds. The forensic meet was an absolute success, not just for the dedicated students who participated in it, but also for the community as a whole.