LCC debate places 3rd in nation at tournament


At the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) Championship Tournament, the Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt debate team finished third in community college team sweepstakes. The tournament, which took place March 23-25 at Boise State University, featured 45 of the top collegiate public debate programs in the nation.

Nine current LCC students and three LCC alumni competed at the tournament. All twelve of these participants won rounds and contributed to the team’s result.

In the Novice division, which consists first-year competitors with less experience, LCC was represented by Spencer Slavazza, Mikey Mace, Jaida Barrows, and Sarah Maffett. All four of these competitors won at least three preliminary rounds of debate.

In the Junior Varsity division, which consists of first- and second-year competitors, LCC was represented by Cameron Richey, Adah Moore, Charlotte Curry, and Tungalagbolor Shinetulga. Richey advanced to the double-octofinal round, and was eliminated by split decision.

In the Varsity division, which consists of the most experienced competitors, LCC was represented by Penelope Anderson. Anderson won half of her rounds and narrowly missed advancing to the elimination bracket.

In the Professional division, which consists of non-student competitors who are affiliated with a school, LCC was represented by two alumni. Julia Mitchell (class of ’20), LCC’s Tutoring Center Program Coordinator, advanced to the octofinal round and was named 7th place speaker in her division. Alayna Tovar, a former Executive Director for ASLCC, also represented the team in this division.

LCC alumnus Molly Mahoney (class of ’21) also competed at the tournament as a competitor for Lewis & Clark College. Mahoney won four rounds in the Varsity division.

The Fighting Smelt received coaching support from several alumni and friends of the team, including Erika Hein, Mitchell Levy, Tyler Tremain, and Keegan Bosch.

LCC Speech & Debate will now gear up for one final tournament – Phi Rho Pi Nationals, which will take place in Bethesda, MD from April 10-15. This is the national championship for community college speech and debate programs, and will feature over 50 of the best squads from across the country.


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