The College of Western Idaho (CWI) Speech and Debate team is enjoying a long-deserved rest after earning their 8th national title during Pi Kappa Delta’s 2021 National Comprehensive Tournament, March 18-21. The tournament featured 79 colleges and universities – CWI’s team finishing first among community colleges and 7th place overall.
“What marks this year as uniquely successful is the fact that every school had to compete remotely,” said CWI's Director of Forensics, Luke Yeates. “The CWI team not only adapted to the weird nature of competition this year, they did it so successfully they won.”
Sixteen students represented the College at the tournament, with the majority competing at the national level for the first time. In addition to the team awards, competitors brought home a total of 21 individual awards.
Dayanna Mora took 3rd in the nation for their Spanish Language speech and earned a Quarterfinalist finish in Poetry. Will Young earned a 6th place finish in Impromptu speaking, as well as Quarterfinalist finishes in Extemporaneous speaking and Persuasive speaking. Joann King earned a Quarterfinalist finish in Dramatic Interpretation, Mustafa Hashim finished as a Semifinalist in Extemporaneous Commentary, and Sophie Burgess finished in 6th place in Interviewing. Both Kaylee Peterson and Albina Khouzina earned rankings of Excellent in Interviewing, and Ashley Ryan, Kaylee Peterson, and Tristin Andrae all earned Excellent rankings in Impromptu.
In debate, both Flora Koenig and Mustafa Hashim took first place in novice Public Forum. Sophie Burgess and Kaylee Peterson earned Quarterfinalist finishes in Public Forum as well. Kaylee also took home 3rd in debate speaking points, while Sophie took 6th and Mustafa took home 7th place. In novice IPDA debate, Ashley Ryan won a Semifinalist finish as well as taking 6th place in speaker awards. Albina Khouzina earned 10th place in speaker awards in Junior IPDA.
“Last year, the tournament was canceled along with everything else, meaning for many on the team, this title has been two years in the making,” said Yeates. “It can be easy to see a team with repetitive success and start to assume another win is a given, but every national tournament is a fight. This team clawed their way to a win, and their Herculean effort should be acknowledged as such.”