Whitworth’s forensics team has had an incredible season so far in the 2014-2015 school year. The team has won four consecutive tournaments in a row, including taking first place out of 55 schools from 13 states at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. The team also saw victory at Lower Columbia University and Pacific University in tournaments earlier this year.
“This is an academic team where the students get the opportunity to develop exceptional skills in public speaking and argumentation,” Mike Ingram, professor in the communications department and coach of the debate team, said.
Ingram’s favorite part of being the coach of the team is getting to work so closely with high achieving students and seeing them be so successful in the tournaments and competitions they participate in, he said. Many of the students who are on the team often go on to graduate school or find occupations after graduation using many of the skills that they have acquired while participating on the team.
“I am exceptionally proud of the seven seniors who provide leadership for the rest of the team,” Ingram added. “We also have three new freshmen who have been doing well. I am excited about the excellence continuing.”
This year marks the speech and debate team’s fourth year back at Whitworth, the 13th year overall after a 14 year gap where the funding was not provided by the administration. Unlike other sports on campus, the speech and debate team is not held back by school size or level. The tournaments and competitions they participate in often have division 1 schools in attendance, such as University of Oregon and University of Washington.
“My favorite part about being on the team is how most of the events we do is individual events so we are able to help each other and have a cool team dynamic,” Bri Anne Miller, a senior majoring in communications said.
Miller participated in speech and debate in high school and enjoyed it enough that she wanted to continue her experience when she came to Whitworth.
Freshman Phillip Allevato, a political science major, also enjoys the “cool team dynamic.” Allevato’s favorite part of being on the team is how everyone really comes together and is supportive of each other, he said.
Sophomore Kat Duarte, a computer science major, also commented on the support and love of her fellow teammates, saying that she “absolutely loves them.”
The team competed in their last tournament of the semester at Linfield College Nov. 14-16. They will resume competitions in January.
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