The Arguing Bucs win the Western Washington University tournament

The Whitworth University Forensics team made history by winning the Western Washington University online tournament on January 22-24, 2021. Each year the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) designates three regional tournaments, and combines sweepstakes points for regional championships.  It is the first time the Arguing Bucs have won two of the three Northwest Forensics Conference designated tournaments in a single season, after winning at Linfield last November.  

The team took first place out of 18 teams from nine states in combined speech and debate. The Pirates defeated regional rivals including Carroll College, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon State University and Weber State University. The Arguing Bucs brought home 31 speech awards and 14 debate awards.  

Chauncella Koulibali ’22 was the top overall speaker in speech and was the undefeated debate champion. 

In the season-long awards, Chauncella received the Brent Northup Award as the top speaker/debater across the NFC this season. Jericho Simone ’22 was the runner up for this award.  

Whitworth received another Gold Award as a top NFC program, and was specifically recognized as the top IPDA debate program in the NFC.  

Speech awards included: 

  • AhLana Ames ’22 took second in prose and third in programmed oral interpretation 
  • Olivia Bolin ’24 took fourth in junior poetry and seventh in junior persuasion 
  • Tricia Cebatori ’24 took sixth in junior extemporaneous  
  • Nathan Cooper ’24 took fifth in junior extemporaneous  
  • Kacie Foster ’23 took second in junior persuasion and second in junior informative 
  • Skye Gordon ’23 took fourth in after dinner speaking and took third in junior impromptu 
  • Aidan Hollister ’23 took fifth in after dinner speaking 
  • Kelea Ilac ’22 took sixth in impromptu speaking 
  • Chauncella Koulibali ’22 won poetry, won programmed oral interpretation, took third in prose, fourth in persuasion, and second in informative  
  • Payton Lo ’23 took third in junior informative 
  • Emma Maple ’24 took third in novice persuasion 
  • Drew Lorenc ’23 took third in junior extemporaneous  
  • Sanjay Philip ’21 took third in persuasion, fifth in informative and fifth in extemporaneous 
  • Travis Plunkett ’23 took third in after dinner speaking and fifth in junior poetry 
  • Celeste Riley-Norman ’23 took second place in after dinner speaking and sixth place in persuasion  
  • Jericho Simone ’22 won communication analysis, won informative, took second in extemporaneous and fifth in prose 

Debate awards included: 

  • In open division, Chauncella Koulibali won the tournament. Drew Lorenc took second,  Jericho Simone and Aidan Hollister were semifinalists, while Sanjay Philip and Skye Gordon were quarterfinalists.  
  • In junior division Payton Lo took second place and Olivia Bolin was a quarterfinalist.  

Debate speaking awards include:  

  • In open division Jericho Simone took first place, Skye Gordon took third place, Chauncella Koulibali took fourth place and AhLana Ames took fifth place.  
  • In junior division, Kacie Foster ’23 took fourth place.  

Guest judges for Whitworth at the tournament included Elizabeth Jacobs Bone ’17, Jordan Bone ’18, Jacob Dunning ’20, Daniel Giorello ’20, Addy Koneval ’16, and Rebecca Korf ’15.   The team’s next online tournament is sponsored by Bossier Parrish Community College in Louisiana on February 20-21. 

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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