Screams echoed throughout Bigfork Elementary School’s hallways and a gang of mimes stampeded for the exits as Bigfork High School senior Olivia Witt bashed herself in the head with a banana at the Northern B-C Divisional Speech and Drama Tournament on Saturday.
Bus loads of debaters, improvisers, pantomimes, soloists and duos and more from Class B and C schools across the northern part of the state crammed into BES with props and costumes in hand to compete for a chance at going to the state competition. Bigfork’s team flexed its theatrical muscle and came out victorious in more ways than one.
“It was a great day for Bigfork, we hosted the meet and took home first in both Speech and Drama,” Coach Charlie Appleby said. “We had five divisional champions and almost our whole team qualified for the state tournament next weekend in Huntley Project.”
Those divisional champions include Witt, Camas Garnett, Mielle Hubbard, Maddie Lorang, and Alex Hider. Witt and Garnett placed first in the Humorous Duo category, Hubbard won Expository Speaking, Lorang won Memorized Public Address, and Hider won the Lincoln Douglas Debate category.
“It has been so much work, Camas and I are ecstatic to be on this winning streak,” Witt said. “But we’re not quite there yet, we have a lot of work to do before state. We have our fingers crossed.”
This will be Hubbard’s third time competing in the state tournament and Appleby said because she won divisionals this year he hopes to see her go even further in the state competition than last year. Appleby also said Lorang is now a three-time divisional champion as a junior, and is looking to compete for the state championship this year.
Each participant who placed sixth or higher in their category qualified for the state tournament.
Brett Bradstreet took second in Humorous Oral Interpretation, Isaac Reichner took second in Impromptu, Shannon Frizzell took second in the Extemporaneous category.
Gunnar Boose and Ashley Hauss placed third in Humorous Duo, Jazzmyn Musser placed third in Serious Oral Interpretation, Danny McVay placed third in Humorous Solo, and Sarah Abbott and Emily Pataky placed third in Classical Duo.
Gus DiPaulo placed fourth in Expository Speaking and Faith Malley placed fourth in Serious Solo.
Seth Anderson had a particularly successful weekend. After two years of not making it past divisionals, Anderson placed fifth in Expository and made the cut for state.
“He has gone to meet after meet after meet over the last three years, worked hard on his pieces and has always been a team player, it is awesome to see him make it to state,” Appleby said.
Mack Paine and Rosalie Lander placed fifth in Humorous Duo, and Abe Malley placed fifth in the Lincoln Douglas Debate.
Alex Dillon placed sixth in Serious Oral Interpretation and Melody Mchaley placed sixth in Serious Solo. Elizabeth Kalenak placed eighth in Humorous Solo.
“I would love to see as many kids as possible make it to semis or to finals, for some finals is a strong possibility, for others just getting to state was a huge win,” Appleby said. “Anything can happen at state, but I think Bigfork kids can compete with any in the state and I look forward to seeing how they do. Really, our season has already been a great success, now for the icing.”