Speech and Debate Start Season with Big Win

Published: September 28, 2023

College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Speech and Debate team is back from the Fran Tanner Tournament hosted by College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls — returning as outright tournament champions! In total, the team brought home 11 awards.

"The first tournament of the season is always a gamble, it’s impossible to gauge where the other teams are at and if the work we’ve put in is up to par for the season," said CWI Assistant Professor and Director of Forensics, Luke Yeates. "Watching 11 of the 12 members of the team bring home awards was a sight to behold."

For the tournament's Speech events, there were no divisions which meant all novice-level students were competing against students who have upwards of four years of experience.

Speech Awards:

Extemporaneous Speaking

  • Gold — Alex Norris
  • Silver — Trace Van Sickle 

Impromptu Speaking  

  • Bronze — Trace Van Sickle

Reader’s Theater

  • Gold — Will Guerrero, Orion Logan, and Eli ODonnell

For the Debate events, eight students on the Debate team made it out of the preliminary rounds and into the finals.

Debate Awards:

Novice Division

  • Gold — Jared Kartel  
  • Bronze — Asha Muhingi, Josephine Beasley, and Orion Logan

Jr. Division

  • Gold — Trace Van Sickle, 
  • Silver — Noelle White
  • Bronze — Kennedy Care

Open Division

  • Bronze — Oliver Heaviside 

Finally, and what is a first for CWI, the College's Speech and Debate team was awarded Gold in Team Sweepstakes! The tournament was balanced in a particular way where, instead of focusing on total points earned, the total was divided by the number of competitors a team brought to the tournament.  The end number is called the point efficiency of the team. For all comprehensive teams at the tournament, the only team to break 10 points per student was CWI.

Team Sweepstakes:

  • Gold — College of Western Idaho

"This is an incredibly rare feat, especially considering the caliber of the programs attending the tournament this weekend," Yeates said. "I see good signs for the team this season."

For those with questions, or in need of more information about CWI’s Speech and Debate team, contact Luke Yeates at lukeyeates@cwi.edu.

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