Lewis & Clark forensics student named top overall competitor in Northwest region
Lewis & Clark’s Ben Mann ’14 won the Northwest Forensics Conference’s top individual honor, the Coaches Commemorative Award, on January 26 at Pacific University.
The Coaches’ Commemorative Award is given to the top overall forensics student in the region. The award is designed to recognize well-rounded students who excel at both public speaking and at debating over the course of three tournaments during the academic year (Lewis & Clark, Linfield and Pacific). The NFC consists of 44 schools from across the Pacific Northwest, including schools from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and northern California.
Mann’s versatility as a competitor showed as he earned high placements in a number of events at the Pacific University tournament. He finished first in impromptu speaking, third in extemporaneous speaking and third in persuasive speaking during the individual events portion of the competition. The points earned from those events meant that he and partner Stormi Hoebelheinrich ’15 needed to advance to the semifinal round in debate in order to clinch the overall award. Mann and Hoebelheinrich then defeated Whitman College in the quarterfinals.
Director of Forensics Joe Gantt said of Mann’s achievement, “I am very proud of Ben for receiving the Coaches’ Commemorative Award. It recognizes students that are excellent in a variety of different speech and debate contexts. Ben has proven that whether it is an impromptu speech, a prepared speech or a debate round, he will be ready to succeed at the highest level, and this award is most deserved.”
Along with Mann and Hoebelheinrich’s semifinal finish in debate, Lewis & Clark also had strong performances from Claire Crossman ’17 who finished in first place in Dramatic Interpretation and Victoria Taylor ’17 who placed second in Informative Speaking.
The Lewis & Clark team will next host the Jean Ward Invitational tournament January 31 and February 1. The tournament will bring high school students from Oregon and Washington to campus for competition in both speech and debate.