POWELL, Wyo. - The Northwest College Forensics Team struck gold at Phi Rho Pi Nationals April 16-19 at Los Angeles Valley Community College.
The team scored a gold medal in debate sweepstakes, plus a silver in overall sweepstakes. “The team started out very slowly,” Coach Duane Fish said, “The early rounds looked like we were not going to have a good tournament at all. But as it progressed, the team started to improve. We began winning more debate rounds and improving our scores in individual events. We came on strong enough to get five debate slots in the elimination rounds and that was enough to give us the gold medal in our division.”
More than 60 community colleges from across the nation were represented at Phi Rho Pi by 417 student competitors. Parliamentary debate was the largest event at the tournament, with 178 students competing. Over 70 were entered in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
Individually in Lincoln-Douglas, Claire Garman of Townsend, Mont., and Quintin Brown of Billings, Mont., earned silver medals, and Jessica Ayres of Newcastle and Nichole Whitcomb of Billings took bronze.
Ayres and Brown complemented their silver medals by taking bronze in Parliamentary Debate.
In addition to the debate medals, Matt Dillon of Greybull earned a bronze in Program Oral Interpretation, and Abbey Dorshorst of Chadron, Neb., scored a silver in Impromptu.
“It’s interesting that even though we didn’t win a single gold award in an event, we won gold overall,” Fish said. “That shows that it was really an overall team effort. I am proud of all the team for making that happen.”