POWELL, Wyo. — The Northwest College Forensics Team ended the year accomplishing two big jobs: cohosting the 2014 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Denver and at the same time competing against the best forensics students in the country. The tournament was a success, and the team brought home silver and bronze to end the year in a winning fashion.
Competing in a field of 58 community college teams, NWC placed 11th overall. Six of the eight NWC students who competed in Denver placed in the finals, racking up enough points to earn Northwest silver in debate sweepstakes and bronze in overall sweepstakes in the intermediate division.
“All of the rounds I judged or watched were very competitive,” NWC Forensics Co-director Bob Becker, said. “I think our students did well against very stiff competition.”
Quintin Brown of Billings brought home a bronze in parliamentary debate with his partner, Claire Garman of Townsend, Mont. Brown also earned a silver in Lincoln-Douglas debate and was named top parliamentary debate speaker.
Matt Dillon of Greybull scored a silver in communication analysis and a bronze in his duet with Josiah Hogan of Powell. Hogan and fellow Powellite Sean Meyers both brought home bronze awards in drama as well.
Carter Reed of Cody rounded out the medal sweep by taking bronze in extemporaneous communication.
The students are coached by Becker and his fellow co-directors Fred Ebert, Duane Fish and Jeannie Hunt.
Ebert said, “I thought all of the students worked together very well and supported each other all week.” This observation was confirmed when Dillon was selected by his fellow students to receive the Collie-Taylor Fellowship Award as the individual best representing the spirit of Phi Rho Pi from the Rocky Mountain Region. Dillon was selected by his peers for this award based on his level of competition as well as his willingness to befriend and support other student competitors, both on his team and from other teams.
Fish said the experience the NWC students acquired at this national tournament will be a boon for the 2014-15 team as well. “I’m excited for next year,” Fish, said, “because four of the students we took to nationals this year are freshman and will return to compete again.”
NWC students weren’t the only ones recognized at the national competition. NWC forensics co-director Jeannie Hunt was also honored at the tournament with a service award for her work hosting the tournament and serving Phi Rho Pi Region 3.
“I appreciate this award,” Hunt said, “Hosting is a lot of work, especially when you host in a different state. The students really stepped up to make sure they made this experience meaningful for students from other states, and Bob did a great job making sure our students had a meaningful experience in addition to all of the work they did.”