by Lee Morgan
The Whitworth Forensics Team placed first during the three-day long Northwest Forensics Conference tournament held at Western Washington University. The tournament began Jan. 30 and concluded Feb. 2.
The team trailed Boise State going into the final tournament, but they came out on top of the competition, which consisted of larger schools such as the University of Washington, Oregon State and Utah State.
Freshman Phillip Allevato and junior Hannah Tweet were finalists in the Junior Division. Because the tournament rules do not allow members from the same school to compete against each other, the points were tallied and Tweet was declared victor.
“Technically I got second place, but it’s a Whitworth win,” Allevato said.
It was the emphasis of teamwork and support that led the team to victory over the other 37 schools in the conference, Allevato said. The unity within the team and the respect that each team member displays for one another is important. Everyone contributes; even if some team members do not advance, they form groups and help out the ones still in the competition, he said.
“With the diversity of majors, each individual contributes to the team with their own knowledge,” Allevato said.
The team consists of 19 members, and within those 19 members, 12 different majors are represented.
The team’s coach, Mike Ingram, also discussed the importance of the different majors on the team.
“We can leverage the breadth of knowledge we have, leverage each other’s best strengths,” Ingram said.
He acted as the coach for nine years before the program was dismantled, and has been the sole coach for the last four years since the program’s resurrection.
“I cannot begin to imagine to work as hard as Mike does. Our program is really unique; other schools have one or more assistant coaches, but we just have Coach Mike,” senior Rebecca Korf said, a biochemistry major and two-year veteran of the team. “He puts in an incredible amount of work and dedication to make sure we have everything we need to succeed. I cannot overstate how much his hard work and care for his students have contributed to the success of the program.”
Allevato also showed nothing but appreciation for the team’s coach. The feeling was reciprocated by Ingram.
“I’m proud of them as speakers and debaters, but I am more proud of them as good human beings,” Ingram said.
The members compete individually, but they can receive help from their peers, either while in the competition or in preparation. Every individual contributed to the team’s success, and with the confidence the team has earned as champions of the NFC, their projections are high for the national tournament coming up in March.
Contact Lee Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org