LCC hosts 50th annual speech & debate tournament


February 9, 2023

The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team hosted and competed at the 50th Annual Michael Dugaw Smelt Classic on January 27-29. Twenty colleges and universities from six states attended, with over 150 students competing across 14 different speech and debate events.

The first Smelt Classic speech and debate tournament was hosted by the late Mike Dugaw in 1973. Though there have been many changes in collegiate speech and debate over the past 50 years, this local tournament has maintained a reputation for being an educational and community-oriented event.

This year’s tournament also served as the final Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) Designated Tournament of the season. At the conference awards ceremony, LCC was honored as a Division III Silver Program in the conference, which represents schools in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Alaska.

Though the LCC Fighting Smelt speech and debate team was not eligible for team sweepstakes awards at their own tournament, the team had an incredibly strong showing, highlighted by several individual performances.

Cameron Richey, a Running Start student who also attends R.A. Long High School, had a breakout tournament. Richey finished as runner-up in novice Impromptu Speaking, novice Extemporaneous speaking, as well as novice IPDA debate. He also was named 4th place speaker in the novice IPDA debate field.

Tungalagbolor Shinetulga, an international student from Mongolia, finished runner up in novice Persuasive Speaking, fifth in junior Informative Speaking, and advanced to the semifinal round of novice IPDA debate. Shinetulga was also acknowledged as the fourth place student in the conference for the Orv Iverson Award, which is presented annually to the best novice or junior level competitor in the conference based on their cumulative season-long success.

Team captain Adah Moore advanced to the quarterfinal round of IPDA debate, where she was eliminated on a split decision.

Sarah Maffett advanced to an elimination round for the first time in her collegiate career, finishing fourth place in novice Impromptu Speaking.

Other LCC students competing at the 50th Annual Dugaw Smelt Classic include Jaida Barrows, Mikey Mace, and Spencer Slavazza.

With Director of Forensics Alex Brehm managing the tournament, the team was coached by a group of Lower Columbia College alumni. That coaching team included Julia Mitchell (Class of 2020), Tyler Tremain (’22), Mitchell Levy (’20), Rebecca Pickner (’18), and Alayna Tovar (’21).

LCC Speech and Debate has two remaining regional tournaments at Oregon State University and Lewis & Clark College before traveling to two national tournaments to end the season.


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