Arguing Bucs win most competitive tournament in the Northwest Forensics Conference

The Whitworth University Forensics team made history this weekend by winning the Linfield College online tournament on November 13-15, 2020.  It is the first time the Arguing Bucs have won what is often the most competitive tournament in the Northwest Forensics Conference. 

The team took first place out of 30 teams from 11 states in combined speech and debate. The Pirates defeated regional and national rivals including arch rival Boise State University along with Carroll College, Lewis & Clark College, Southern Illinois University, the University of Southern Mississippi and Weber State University.

The Arguing Bucs brought home 25 speech awards and 17 debate awards. 

Jericho Simone ’22 won four individual speaking events including communication analysis, informative, poetry and prose. She also went undefeated in debate to win the tournament. 

Speech awards included:

  • AhLana Ames ’22 took sixth in prose
  • Olivia Bolin ’24 took fourth in prose and second in junior 
  • Tricia Cebatori ’24 took fifth in junior persuasion   
  • Kacie Foster ’23 won novice persuasion and took second novice informative
  • Skye Gordon ’23 won junior after dinner speaking and took second in junior impromptu
  • Courtney Iseman ’23 took second in junior extemporaneous
  • Chauncella Koulibali ’22 took second in programmed oral interpretation, second in prose, fourth in persuasion, third in poetry and fourth in informative 
  • Payton Lo ’23 took fifth in inform 
  • Drew Lorenc ’23 took second in junior after dinner and second in junior informative 
  • Palmer Pederson ’23 took fourth in junior persuasion
  • Travis Plunkett ’23 took third in after dinner speaking and fourth in junior poetry
  • Celeste Riley-Norman ’23 won after dinner speaking, third in informative and fifth in persuasion 

Debate awards included:

In open division, Jericho Simone won the tournament. Chauncella Koulibali and Aidan Hollister were quarterfinalists. 

In junior division Skye Gordon won the tournament, Drew Lorenc took second, Tricia Cebotari, Palmer Pederson and Travis Plunkett were quarterfinalists, and Courtney Iseman was an octofinalist. 

In novice division, Kacie Foster took second, Celeste Riley-Norman was a semi finalist and Olivia Bolin was an octofinalist. 

Debate speaking awards include: 

  • In open division Jericho Simone took fourth place. 
  • In junior division Tricia Cebotari took second place and Skye Gordon took third place. 
  • In novice division, Kacie Foster ’23 took second place and Olivia Bolin took fifth place. 

Guest judges for Whitworth at the tournament included Elizabeth Jacobs Bone ’17, James Eccles ’17, Jacob Farrell ’19, Rebecca Korf ’15, Sarah Streyder ’15 and Travis Walker ‘12. 

The team’s next online tournament is sponsored by Lower Columbia College on December 4-6. 

The team is coached by Mike Ingram, Professor of Communication Studies, Stephanie Gibbons ’15, and Lori Welch ’90.

(Students in the novice division have limited high school experience and have won fewer than three awards in a particular speech category as defined by the Northwest Forensics Conference, and junior division is for those winning fewer than eight awards.)  

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