Drama takes second at divisionals, 14 Cougars on to state meet

Mikaela Koski
Thursday, January 24, 2019
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At last week’s divisional meet in Missoula, the Columbus Cougar speech and drama team exceeded Coach Johanna Kern’s expectations.

During what she calls an “extraordinary day,” the drama team won second place and 14 of the 18 team members competing qualified for state.


For the first time since the beginning of December, the Columbus drama team earned a group trophy, taking home the second place hardware after a strong performance at divisionals.

The group was led with a second place finish by the sophomore dramatic duo team of Maxine Jess and Jacob Jones. The other Columbus dramatic duo team, senior Ashton Zwetzig and sophomore Lana Summers, earned fifth.

The classical theater teams also did well in Missoula. Sophomores Shelby Knudsen and Leslie Richardson finished third, and freshmen Caydence Martin and Zoe Mentzer ended the meet in seventh.

Senior Kadie Flemetis earned fourth in dramatic solo, and senior Ben Bullis got eighth in humorous solo.


There were also several members of the speech team that placed well at divisionals.

Senior Adrian Cook won the memorized public address event, followed by senior Kolton Gladney in third.

Junior McKayla Valdez finished third in informative speaking, and senior Susan Carrel earned fourth in spontaneous oral interpretation.

There were four Cougars who did not qualify for state: senior Braiden Ranstrom (original oratory), sophomore Izzy Carlson (dramatic oral interpretation), sophomore Keeley O’Reilly (humorous oral interpretation), and sophomore Avery Rager (humorous solo).

Kern said all four “had wonderful seasons and really grew in their craft.” Carlson, O’Reilly, and Rager were all speech and drama rookies, and Kern is looking forward to their return next season.


The Class B-C state speech and drama meet will be held this week in Three Forks. Competition begins on Friday, at 10 a.m., and will continue through Saturday.