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L&C forensics has historic weekend at Linfield tournament

November 28, 2016

  • Wisda with Mahaffey trophy
    Wisda with Mahaffey trophy

Linfield College

Highlighted by Jacob Wisda’s second consecutive win of a prestigious Northwest award, Lewis & Clark’s forensics team ended the fall semester with historic performances at the Linfield College tournament held November 18-20.

Wisda (’18) won the R. D. Mahaffey trophy, an award given out annually to the most outstanding speaker at the tournament, besting a field of nearly 300 competitors from 30 schools across the region. He did so by advancing to finals in five events, winning first place honors in Informative Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking. Wisda became only the fifth competitor to win the award back-to-back since its inception in 1965.

Much of Wisda’s toughest competition for the award came from his Lewis & Clark teammates, as Brady Quick (’19) finished in second place, Decker O’Donnell (’18) in third, and Ben Soleim (’18) in fourth place. Administrators of the Linfield tournament indicated it was the first time in recent memory that any school earned the top four placings for the Mahaffey.

Each of these competitors also won two individual events. Quick placed first in Dramatic Interpretation and also won Duo Interpretation with partner Claire Crossman (’17). O’Donnell was first in Impromptu Speaking and Prose Interpretation, while Soleim won top honors in After-Dinner Speaking and Communication Analysis.

In debate competition at Linfield, the teams of Kate McDonagh (’20)/Sophie Picton (’18) and Colin Gesik (’20)/Nya Riddle (’19) advanced to elimination rounds in parliamentary debate, with McDonagh and Picton advancing to semifinals. The team of Soleim and Wisda also advanced to semifinals in Worlds-style debate.

The Linfield tournament caps an exceptionally successful semester for the parliamentary debate squad. L&C won three out of five tournaments entered, highlighted by their performance at the University of Puget Sound tournament. At that event, held October 29-30, four teams combined to earn all four semifinal spots and thus end the tournament. Those teams were McDonagh/Picton, Hannah Mathieson (’17)/Mikayla Parsons (’18), William Woods (’19)/Brandon Roth (’20) and Asher Kalman (’18)/Charlie Brothersen (’19).

Both the speech and debate components of the program will take a break from competition until January. Debaters will compete next at the University of Utah, while speech competitors will travel to two tournaments in Southern California.

For more information:

Joe Gantt
Director of Forensics
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