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Great Bend debaters win sweepstakes at Halstead
courtesy photo GBHS debate team members are shown with the sweepstakes trophy at the Halstead Invitational. Back row, from left: Patrick Heath, Maddix Pokoroski, Xanna Smith, Jessy Moeder, Isaiah Smith; front row: Bayle Sandy, Katria Kindscher and Breanne Allen.

Panther debaters earned 13 wins and just 7 losses to capture the first-place sweepstakes trophy at the Halstead Invitational this past weekend.

The GBHS squad was led by seniors Patrick Heath and Bayle Sandy, who went undefeated against teams from Wichita Collegiate, Buhler, Hoisington, Abilene and Salina Sacred Heart. With nearly perfect speaker points, Sandy and Heath earned gold medals in the experienced division.

Also debating in the experienced division were sophomore Isaiah Smith and freshman Katria Kindscher. They began the day by winning their first two rounds against Peabody and Hoisington. After a fabulous start, they were powermatched in the winning bracket against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-place teams. They dropped decisions to McPherson and two teams from TMP, finishing the tournament with a respectable 2-3 record.  

In the novice division, Maddix Pokoroski and Xanna Smith placed 4th with four wins and one loss. They were undefeated on the affirmative. They defeated teams from Hays, Abilene, Wichita Collegiate and Sterling. Their only loss was to a different Sterling team.    

The final contribution to the sweepstakes record came from freshmen Jessy Moeder and Breanne Allen. Halstead was the first opportunity for both of these students to debate, and they finished the day with two wins and three losses.

The Great Bend speech and debate team will compete next on Oct. 12 at the Lyons Debate Tournament.