School navigation

The Source

L&C Forensics team earns Silver Award Distinction from national conference

February 17, 2012

As the regular season of collegiate speech and debate has come to a close Lewis & Clark’s Speech and Debate Team finished in Silver Award Distinction in the Northwest Forensics Conference.

Following the close of the Fall Semester debate partners Joe Hykan (‘13) and Emily Halter (‘14) were offered a First Round Bid to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence Championship Tournament in recognition of their strong performances and as a part of the top sixteen ranked teams in the country. The NPTE tournament invites the top sixty-four teams in the country and Joe and Emily are currently ranked 8th in the country from a field of almost 500 teams. The duo happily accepted and will represent the College at the tournament to be held at Western Washington University March 17-19, 2012.

Recently, the team emerged victorious in both debate and public speaking events at the largest tournament of the fall semester – the Paul Winters Invitational, hosted by the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Despite facing competitors from as far away as Colorado, Arizona, and Illinois, the debate duo of Joe Hykan and Emily Halter emerged victorious after defeating UCLA in the tournament’s final round.  While the tournament was Lewis & Clark’s first overall debate victory in almost four years, the squad hopes that the array of talented young students who joined this season will allow it to build on its recent success.  Other Lewis & Clark debaters who advanced to elimination rounds at the University of Pacific included Elle Olson (senior) and Ben Mann (sophomore), as well as the all-freshmen partnership of Stormi Hoebelheinrich and Mary Gates.

In individual events, Ell Olson also earned distinction as the second overall competitor in the Northwest Forensic Association Coaches Commemorative award.  Ell earned top competitor status at Linfield College’s Mahaffey invitational and at Lewis & Clark’s home tournament, the Steve Hunt Classic, and the University of the Pacific, Pacific Meets the Delta Swings.  At both of those competitions, Ell and sophomore Tyler Janzen finished as tournament champions in Duo, an interpretive event in which two students perform a short selection from a piece of literature.  Senior Carmelle Kniss, sophomores Mara Hanawalt and Maya Gold, and freshmen Ryan Kane, Emily Tribble, and Alec Kerry have also advanced to tournament elimination rounds this semester.

Apart from its competitive pursuits, the Lewis & Clark forensics team also participates in regional community-service activities, including debates hosted with inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, which both students and prisoners have cited as a unique and rewarding educational experience.

While most students were on break, forensics team members compete in three tournaments in Salt Lake City, Utah; Austin, Texas; and Bellingham, Washington.  Anyone interested in joining the program should contact Director of Forensics, Brad Krupicka (

Submitted by Brad Krupicka, Director of Forensics