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Potsdam earns top honors at speech and debate competition in Malone

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MALONE - The speech and debate season continued its schedule on Saturday with Franklin Academy hosting a competition that featured four schools.

The competing schools included Franklin Academy, Parishville-Hopkinton, Brushton-Moira and Potsdam. Despite the lower numbers of participants due to conflicts with SATs and other activities, those students attending the tournament came determined to improve on their previous performances.

The Modified Prose for the seventh and eighth graders showed the veteran Parishville-Hopkinton’s Kaitlyn Wells’s consistent ability. She grabbed the gold again besting Malone’s Jordan Santamore.

In Modified Poetry, Wells again ruled the podium, taking home the first-place award.

In Declamation there were four ninth and 10th graders vying for the top honors. Potsdam’s Marko Jukic placed fourth. Malone’s Cassie Florio earned third place. Second place went to Anna DeRosa, Potsdam. Top honors in Declamation were bestowed on Malone’s Josh Oshiro.

JV Oral Interpretation was dominated by students from Franklin Academy. Madison Crow grabbed sixth place. Donovan Connolly placed fifth. Teammate Josh Oshiro earned fourth place. Potsdam’s Dan Chichester got the bronze medal for third place. Malone’s Cassie Florio took second place and first went to Adelynn Murphy, Malone.

In Varsity Oral Interpretation, Potsdam presented a very strong front. Franklin Academy’s Jenna Murtagh placed sixth. Brushton-Moira’s Mikayla Foster garnered the points to earn a tie with Potsdam’s Gwen Deuel and they shared the fourth place award. Malone’s Jordan Black grabbed the third place medal. Potsdam’s Noah Chichester earned second, being bested only by teammate Gwyneth Heuser, who took the gold medal.

Duo-dramatic Interpretation saw Potsdam and Franklin Academy go head to head. The medal winners included Madison Crow and Alexis Klusmeyer took home the bronze medal. Second went to Malone’s Christian Benware and partner Jacob Searles. First place and the gold medal went to Potsdam’s Gwyneth Heuser and Anna De Rosa.

Turning to the debate venue, Potsdam’s two teams left no question about who reigned this day. Noah Chichester teamed up with brother, Daniel, and won three of three rounds. Their record was equaled by their teammates, Marko Jukic and his partner, Gwen Deuel. However, based on total judge points the Chichesters won by one point. Third place went to Franklin Academy’s team of Christian Benware and colleague, Adelynn Murphy. Donovan Connolly and partner Todd Sprague grabbed fourth place. Malone’s Alexis Klusmeyer and Jacob Searles earned fifth.

Master Speaker for the day was Potsdam’s Gwyneth Heuser. Her combined score for her performances was 29 out of a possible 30. Potsdam’s Anna DeRosa and Daniel Chichester tied for the second Master Speaker award. Noah Chichester, Potsdam, and Franklin Academy’s Josh Oshiro tied for forth place with 26 of 30 points.

The tournament medal went to Potsdam who eked out the victory over Franklin Academy, 136-117. So, this day the Potsdam Sandstoners continue their reign in the speech and debate world.

The next opportunity for their adversaries will occur at AAK Middle School in Potsdam on Oct. 19.

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