LCC speech & debate students win awards at nationals tune-up


The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team began preparations for the Phi Rho Pi national tournament the weekend of February 26-27 by competing in the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association (PSCFA) Spring Championship, hosted by Mount San Antonio College (Walnut, CA). In a competitive field of 37 colleges and universities, LCC finished fifth in two-year college team sweepstakes.

This tournament gave LCC debaters a valuable opportunity to test their skills against top community college programs from across the country, including Missouri Valley College (Marshall, MO), Prairie State College (Chicago Heights, IL) and El Camino College (Torrance, CA).

Sarah Tran had a breakout tournament, winning gold in novice IPDA debate and placing fourth in novice extemporaneous speaking. Both of these placements were personal bests for Tran. She also competed in persuasive speaking.

Tyler Tremain continued a run of consistent success, winning gold in junior IPDA debate and placing fourth in junior extemporaneous speaking. Tremain has now advanced to final rounds in these two categories at four consecutive tournaments. He also competed in impromptu speaking.

Team Captain Penelope Anderson was champion of both junior extemporaneous speaking and open communication analysis. Anderson also competed in informative and persuasive speaking, as well as IPDA debate.

The team was also represented by Adah Moore, who competed in IPDA debate, as well as extemporaneous and impromptu speaking.

The Fighting Smelt received coaching support from program alumni Ilinca Slabu (class of 2021), Rebecca Pickner ('18), Mitchell Levy ('20), and Assistant Director of Forensics Julia Mitchell ('20).

LCC Speech and Debate hopes to compete at the Phi Rho Pi national tournament, which will be held in St. Charles, MO the week of April 4-9. This would be the first in-person tournament for the Fighting Smelt since March 2020, and represents a meaningful capstone on a very successful season.


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