Forensics Team places second in tournament

by Catherine Porter

The Whitworth Forensics Team placed second out of 15 schools and won 22 speech awards and 11 debate awards in last tournament at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. This has been the only year the team has placed in every tournament of the season. This was their final tournament for the conference season.

Freshman Addison Koneval placed fourth place in novice prose, second in novice dramatic interpretation, and fifth in oral interpretation. Koneval is not new to debate; she debated on her high school team for two years.

“It is a lot different, it is structured differently,” Koneval said.

Over this past weekend, Koneval participated in three events and was a finalist in each. She said she felt this was her best performance out of the six tournaments the Forensics team has participated in this year.

“Everyone is super prepared, there are a lot of practices and we have an excellent coach,” Koneval said.

Freshman Norann Biedas won four out of her five debates during the tournament. Biedas joined the Forensics team in January and did not have any debate experience prior to joining.

“I really thought it was important to increase communication skills, performance and understanding different topics. Also it is very intellectually stimulating”, Biedas said.

Biedas placed fifth in impromptu speaking, third in debate and first in speaking points. She said that this tournament was a lot better than her previous tournament in January. She also said that her team performed well overall.

“It was wonderful, a lot of new people won awards,” Biedas said.

Sophomore Samuel Director, who has been on the debate team for two years, took second place in persuasive, seventh place in extemporaneous speaking and was the top speaker out of 79 debaters total. He said the way everyone helped each other succeed showed the community and the cohesiveness of the team.

“This tournament really showed Whitworth’s ability to work as a team,” Director said. “Even people who didn’t advance really helped in the research and showed the team working as a cohesive unit.”

He also said that it was a tournament that really showed the community involvement. The debate team was able to bring along three judges, Alumnae Kym Davis, Rhylee Smith and Lori Welch.

“It was a clear way of showing community involvement. People were making sacrifices so the team could compete,” Director said.

The team is coached by Mike Ingram, professor of communications.
The Whitworth Forensics team’s next event is at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., March 9-11.

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