April 20, 2017

Lewis & Clark forensics ends season with stellar nationals performances

Lewis & Clark’s forensics team ended the 2016-17 season in historic fashion, finishing as a top ten school in both parliamentary debate and individual events at national championships.

Lewis & Clark’s forensics team ended the 2016-17 season in historic fashion, finishing as the 5th place school nationally in parliamentary debate (by the National Parliamentary Debate Association) and the 10th place school nationally in individual events (by the National Forensics Association).

Lewis & Clark is one of only two schools this year to have top ten teams in both speech and parliamentary debate, and it is the first time in program history to have achieved both in the same season.

Highlights from this year’s national championships include:

  • At the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, held March 19-21 in Pueblo, Colorado, the team of Hannah Mathieson (’17) and Sarah McDonagh (’18) finished in 11th place while the team of Brandon Roth (’20) and William Woods (’19) finished in 16th place. McDonagh was named the 10th best speaker at the tournament.
  • At the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s national championship tournament, held March 24-26 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mathieson & McDonagh again led the way, advancing to the quarterfinal round before losing a close 4-3 judges decision against the eventual national champions from Washburn University.
  • Also advancing to elimination rounds at NPDA were the team of Charlie Brothersen (’19) and Kate McDonagh (’20) as well as the team of Colin Gesik (’20) and Asher Kalman (’18). The overall team earned 5th place honors.
  • At the National Individual Events Tournament, held April 1-3 in Peoria, Illinois, Ben Soleim (’18) advanced to the quarterfinal round in Informative Speaking. It was the first time a Lewis & Clark student advanced to quarterfinals at the NIET since 2006, and the team earned 18th place honors.
  • At the National Forensics Association national championship tournament, over half of the events entered advanced to elimination rounds, with every student on the team advancing at least one event. Claire Crossman (’17) advanced all five of her events to elimination rounds.
  • Decker O’Donnell (’18) advanced to the quarterfinal round in Extemporaneous Speaking, Jacob Wisda (’18) advanced to the quarterfinal round in Impromptu Speaking, and the team of Crossman and Brady Quick (’19) advanced to quarterfinals in Duo Interpretation. The team earned 10th place honors.

Director of Forensics and head coach Joe Gantt said of these results, “I am so proud of this incredible group of students and what they have achieved this season. We care deeply about being excellent in both speech and debate, and there is no doubt that they have achieved that this year. Our seniors (Hannah, Claire and Ben) all had amazing performances to close out their competitive careers, and every student who will be returning next year showed that we will not miss a beat.”

Adding these national results to regional championship results from earlier in the season, where L&C was named a Gold Medal program and had the top three overall students in the Pacific Northwest, the season was a historically successful one.

The team will return to competition in September. During the summer the program will host the Pioneer Debate Institute, a camp for high school students, July 8-22.