Forensics team wins the Pacific University Tournament

The Whitworth University Forensics team won the Pacific University online tournament on October 24 and 25, 2020.  The team defeated 17 schools from 11 states in combined speech and debate, including regional and national rivals including Arizona State University, Lewis & Clark College, Mississippi State University, the University of Alaska and Weber State University. 

The Arguing Bucs brought home 12 speech awards and 19 debate awards. Jericho Simone ’22 tied for the third best competitor at the tournament out of 111 competitors.  

Speech awards included: 

  • AhLana Ames ’22 took second in programmed oral interpretation 
  • Olivia Bolin ’24 took fourth in poetry 
  • Tricia Cebatori ’24 took fourth in novice extemporaneous  
  • Nathan Cooper ’24 took third in novice extemporaneous 
  • Kacie Foster took fourth in novice informative  
  • Kelea Ilac ’22 took fourth in programmed oral interpretation 
  • Chauncella Koulibali ’22 took third in programmed oral interpretation and third in poetry 
  • Payton Lo ’23 took sixth in informative
  • Travis Plunkett ’23 took fifth in after dinner speaking 
  • Jericho Simone ’22 took third in extemporaneous, second in communication analysis, and second in informative  

Debate awards included: 

  • Aidan Hollister was the top speaker, Sanjay Philip ‘21 took third place, Skye Gordon ‘22 took fourth place, Jericho Simone and Travis Plunkett tied for fifth place.   
  • In novice division, Kacie Foster ’23 took second place, Celeste Riley-Norman ‘23 took fourth place and Olivia Bolin took fifth place.  
  • In novice division, Tricia Cebotari and Kacie Foster closed out the final round, Celeste Riley-Norman was a semi finalist and Olivia Bolin was a quarterfinalist.  
  • In open division, AhLana Ames and Drew Lorenc closed out the final round. Chauncella Koulibali and Aidan Hollister were semi finalists. Skye Gordon, Travis Plunkett and Jericho Simone were quarterfinalists.  

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

The team’s next online tournament is sponsored by Linfield College on November 13-15. 

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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