School navigation


L&C forensics closes 2017-18 season; Wisda 5th nationally

April 30, 2018

  • The L&C speech competitors after the NFA tournament: O'Donnell, Wisda, Quick, Hawley, Kn...
    The L&C speech competitors after the NFA tournament: O'Donnell, Wisda, Quick, Hawley, Knighton

Lewis & Clark’s 2017-18 forensics season ended with a bang, as Jacob Wisda (’18) finished 5th in the nation in Impromptu Speaking and Decker O’Donnell (’18) advanced four events to the national quarterfinals.

The final national tournament for the team was the National Forensics Association championship tournament, held at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. L&C entered 26 events, and 11 of those advanced to elimination rounds.

Wisda advanced to the final round in Impromptu, finishing 5th in a field of 178 competitors from 57 colleges and universities from across the nation. Impromptu speaking requires students to compose a speech based upon a prompt, usually preparing the speech in under 90 seconds. Wisda was placed highly enough in three preliminary rounds and three elimination rounds to reach the final, which was the first national final in speech for Lewis & Clark in over two decades.

O’Donnell had four events in the quarterfinals, also a modern Lewis & Clark speech record. He advanced to semifinals in Rhetorical Criticism and to quarterfinals in After-Dinner Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Persuasive Speaking.

Other events advancing to elimination rounds included:

  • Ally Knighton (’21): Duo Interpretation, Informative Speaking
  • Brady Quick (’19): Informative Speaking
  • Basil Hawley (’19): Duo Interpretation
  • Wisda: Extemporaneous Speaking, After-Dinner Speaking
  • O’Donnell: Impromptu Speaking

As a school, Lewis & Clark finished in 13th place nationally, and it was 3rd in the President’s II category (for schools with small to medium sized entries).

NFA capped off a successful nationals season for the L&C team. Among other standout performances at national championship tournaments:

  • Lewis & Clark advanced five teams to elimination rounds at the NPDA national tournament in parliamentary debate, more than any other school nationally: Jarely Castro (’19)/Mary Talamantez (’21), Sarah McDonagh (’18)/Mikay Parsons (’18), Colin Gesik(’20)/Sophie Picton (’18), Charlie Brothersen (’19)/Brandon Roth (’20), and Kate McDonagh (’19)/Austin Smith (’19).
  • As a squad, L&C finished in second place nationally in the season long championship and in fifth place at the national championship for NPDA.
  • Gesik/Picton finished 11th nationally at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, with S. McDonagh/Parsons finishing 14th.
  • Wisda and O’Donnell also advanced to elimination rounds at the National Individual Events Tournament, with Wisda making it to semifinals in Impromptu and O’Donnell having quarterfinal rounds in Impromptu and After-Dinner Speaking.


Share this story on


Contact Us