A total of 65 students from eight high schools in New York and Pennsylvania showed off their speech, performance and debate skills at the Sayre High School Forensic Tournament held Jan. 12 at the high school.

Students competed in 14 different events designed to showcase a variety of public speaking skills during the event, with the help of more than 60 adult volunteers.

The Sayre High School team, coached by Kerry Bocko, Sally Hickey and Tom Yonkin, placed first in the Sweepstakes, a measure of team strength and speaking skills. The Towanda High School team, coached by Julie Larnard-Newbury, was a close second.

The tournament's outstanding speaker was Sayre senior Austin Willis, a three-time national qualifier. Willis placed first in original oratory and oral interpretation events and fourth in impromptu speaking.

Other Sayre first place winners included Amanda Mooney for dramatic interpretation, Lydia Szlasa for humorous interpretation and Michelle Mongiello for Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Phillip Bennett, Dylan Conklin, Haley Elston, Tina Hoyt, Kristen Johnston, Gabrielle Keener, Ryan Kipp, John Northrup and Brittney Wilkerson also competed for Sayre at the tournament, as well as junior high students Emma Cole and Lauren McCutcheon. The Sayre team will continue its tournament season through March.