Whitworth’s academic athletes start a successful season

by Laryssa Lynch

Fall semester has brought new faces and continued success to the Whitworth forensics team and their coach, Mike Ingram, in their second year back in the game.

“It’s been a very different dynamic with  a bigger team,” sophomore Andie Ingram said.

Taking first place out of 10 schools at the third tournament of the season at Lower Columbia College, the team took home 17 debate awards and 24 awards in speech events. At this tournament, Whitworth team members placed in the top four debaters for the third time in a row. This time the pirates made up 11 of the top 14 in the entire tournament. At the fourth tournament at Linfield College, the team placed second out of 30 schools, winning  12 speech awards, nine debate awards and a first place sweepstakes award in one division. This places Whitworth ahead of regional rivals including Seattle Pacific University, Oregon State University and the College of Idaho.

Competing in forensics brings more than trophies; it teaches useful and applicable skills.

“I truly feel I’m more able to think quickly and respond effectively,” Andie Ingram said.

Even more so, like any other team, competing together means shared stories and a stronger team.

“Coach said we’d become a family, and we did,” freshman Alex Hoffman said.

Thursday, Nov. 29, the team put on an open house style exhibition from 4 to 5 p.m. in Robinson Science Hall 210. The room, which is used on a bi-weekly basis for practice, was filled with audience members from the campus community. Professors, peers and admissions counselors filled the chairs.

Sophomore Sam Director opened the exhibition with a brief, informative introduction, giving explanations of events between presentations. The first event was an informative speech on autonomous cars presented by sophomore Jon Kim. Then sophomore Sarah Sauter gave a dramatic interpretation of a humorous story on first impressions. Freshmen Chris Burnett and Madison Garner gave an example of competitive debate in an IPDA round for which the topic was national legalization of marijuana. In  conclusion, Director drew from his philosophy background, giving an impromptu speech on the quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

This exhibition allows for the community to learn about forensics and watch the team in action. As Hoffman said, it’s not just about argumentation, it’s science, philosophy, politics and theater.

Continuing this theme of competitive academic success, the Ethics Bowl team took second place out of eight schools during the weekend before Thanksgiving. This qualifies the team for the national bowl for the third consecutive year where they will return as the defending national champions of the Ethics Bowl.

If both teams keep doing this well, Mike Ingram may need another display case.

Contact Laryssa Lynch at laryssalynch15@my.whitworth.edu.

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