School navigation

Forensics

Lewis & Clark Forensics team flourishes in start to Spring semester

February 09, 2015

  • Lee Palmer (left) and Carlton Bone debating in finals of the Sunset Cliffs Classic
  • Lewis & Clark duo interpretation team of Zoe Pittman (left) and Decker O'Donnell

2015 has gotten off to a fast start for Lewis & Clark forensics, as both the debate and individual events teams have had significant successes to open the spring semester.

On the debate side, four of Lewis & Clark’s teams have had strong performances at multiple events. The team of Carlton Bone (CAS ’18) and Lee Palmer (CAS ’15) advanced to the semifinal round of the Great Salt Lake Invitational, a tournament held at the University of Utah January 9-11. The GSL was the largest tournament of the season outside of nationals, as 97 debate teams from 31 schools across the nation competed in a grueling 3 days of competition. Bone and Palmer followed up that performance with a 2nd place finish out of 62 teams from 42 schools at the Sunset Cliffs Invitational, held February 7-8 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Defeating teams from Wheaton College, the University of Puget Sound, Concordia University and the University of Texas at Tyler, the duo finally fell in the final round debate to Southern Illinois University. From all records available, it is believed that Bone might be the first ever debater to advance to finals of the Sunset Cliffs in his first year of collegiate competition.

The team of Sarah McDonagh (CAS ’18) and Emily Tribble (CAS ’15) were among the top sixteen teams at the Great Salt Lake Invitational and were among the top 32 teams at the Sunset Cliffs. Tribble was announced as the 7th best individual speaker at the Sunset Cliffs.

The team of Mary Gates (CAS ’15) and Brigitte Tripp (CAS ’16) were among the top 32 teams at both tournaments, with Tripp being recognized as one of the top 20 speakers at the Great Salt Lake Invitational. Gates and Tripp were also the first place team at the Greater Portland debate tournament held January 24 at Mount Hood Community College.

The team of Hannah Mathieson (CAS ’17) and Mikayla Parsons (CAS ’18) were among the top sixteen teams at the Sunset Cliffs. They also finished in 2nd place at the Greater Portland tournament.

With these performances, all four teams have qualified to attend the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, a national championship open only to approximately the top 60 debate teams in the nation. The four teams will compete March 20-22 at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO to defend Lewis & Clark’s 2014 NPTE title.

Lewis & Clark’s individual events students have also had significant success in the spring semester, with seven students and 17 events qualified to the National Individual Events Tournament, to be held April 4-6 on the Lewis & Clark campus. The team qualified 13 events at the District II tournament held February 7 at Oregon State University:

Asher Kalman (CAS ’18) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking;

Claire Crossman (CAS ’17) qualified in Prose Interpretation, Persuasive Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation and Duo Interpretation;

Connor Meckfessel (CAS ’18) qualified in Extemporaneous;

Decker O’Donnell (CAS ’18) qualified in Communication Analysis, After-Dinner Speaking, Prose and Duo;

Kevin Bocek (CAS ’15) qualified in After-Dinner Speaking and Prose;

Victoria Taylor (CAS ’17) qualified in Duo, Communication Analysis, Prose and Persuasive;

Zoe Pittman (CAS ’17) qualified in Duo, Dramatic, and Poetry Interpretation.

Crossman was also elected district student representative for 2015-2016 at the tournament.

The fifteen combined students qualified for the NPTE and NIET is a program record for Lewis & Clark. Six of the qualified students are in their first year of competition and an additional four are sophomores. Both debate and individual events will have opportunities to add additional students and events for nationals at tournaments at Whitman College, Gonzaga University and the University of Oregon in the coming weeks.

Amidst all of its competitive success, the Lewis & Clark program got the opportunity to serve the local high school forensics community by hosting a high school competition January 30-31. The Jean Ward Invitational, named after the former Director of Forensics, chair of the Communication department and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, attracted 32 schools and 450 students from high schools across Oregon and California.