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Lewis & Clark forensics team excels in October competitions

November 07, 2013

  • Campbell (seated) and Halter (speaking) debate Southern Illinois

The Lewis & Clark forensics team continued a strong fall of 2013 with a series of excellent performances in October. Competing in tournaments in California, Washington and on its own campus, the Pioneers collected numerous individual and team awards and have established themselves as one of the top forensics squads nationally.

The highlight of the last month was the hosting of the 2013 Steve Hunt Classic, Lewis & Clark’s college tournament named after longtime Director of Forensics Steve Hunt, held October 11-13. This year’s tournament attracted 47 schools from 13 states, and is the largest intercollegiate forensics tournament to be held in the nation so far this academic year. The forensics team also traveled to tournaments at the University of Puget Sound, the University of the Pacific and Lower Columbia College.

At the Steve Hunt Classic, several Lewis & Clark debate teams had remarkable performances against a very competitive field. The team of Brigitte Tripp (’16) and Emily Tribble (’15) finished in 3rd place, while the team of Emily Halter (’14) and McKay Campbell (’14) finished in 5th place. Even more notable were the individual honors the team earned. Halter was named the top individual debater at the tournament, beating out 112 other competitors for that honor. It was the second time this year that Halter won a top debater honor, and she has finished among the top 3 speakers at five tournaments this year. Also placing among the top 12 individual debaters were Ben Mann (’14), Campbell, Tribble and Tripp.

At the University of Puget Sound Logger tournament, Mann and partner Stormi Hoebelheinrich (’15) continued Lewis & Clark’s momentum with a 5th place finish. Mann was recognized as the 5th best overall speaker at the tournament. The junior varsity team of Claire Crossman (’17) and Kevin Nelson (’16) advanced to the final round before falling to Idaho State.

Campbell and Halter were invited to the prestigious Pat Kennedy Round Robin debate tournament, open only to twelve of the best debate teams in the nation and held on the campus of the University of the Pacific. They won six debates to advance to the final round before falling to the top ranked team in the nation from Southern Illinois. Halter was recognized as the 3rd most outstanding debater and Campbell was awarded the 5th most outstanding debater at the tournament.

The final tournament of the busy month was the Lower Columbia College tournament. Lewis & Clark won eighteen debates and lost only two in claiming the top four teams at the tournament. Earning individual honors at the tournament were Hannah Mathieson (’17) and partner Mary Gates (’15), who were named the top two speakers at the tournament. Also earning individual honors were Lee Palmer (’15), Maya Gold (’14), Tribble and Tripp.

Lewis & Clark also excelled at individual events during the four tournament span. At the Steve Hunt Classic, Victoria Taylor (’17) finished 2nd in Informative Speaking, while Crossman finished 4th in Prose Interpretation and Mann finished 4th in both Impromptu Speaking and Communication Analysis. Mann’s success continued at the University of Pacific tournament, where he placed second in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Persuasive Speaking and was named the 4th best overall individual events competitor. At Lower Columbia, Crossman, Mathieson, Taylor and Zoe Pittman (’17) all placed two events in the final round, including a 2nd place finish for the Duo Interpretation of Mathieson and Pittman.

Director of Forensics Joe Gantt said of these performances, “This was a very busy month with a lot of competition, but I cannot be more proud of these students. We have strength in both debate and individual events as well as with both our most experienced competitors and our newest competitors. This team has worked exceptionally hard to get to this point, and I expect that hard work will continue throughout the season.”

Lewis & Clark’s forensics team will next compete at the Linfield College tournament to be held November 15-17.

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