January 31, 2018

Wisda secures historic “three-peat”; Lewis & Clark’s forensics team golden

Jacob Wisda & the Lewis & Clark forensics team achieved historic firsts at the NFC awards ceremony held January 28 at Pacific University.

In recent years, the annual Northwest Forensics Conference awards have been very good for the Lewis & Clark forensics team. The 2018 awards, held January 28 at Pacific University, were no different.

Jacob Wisda (CAS ’18) won the Coaches’ Commemorative Award, the highest individual honor for forensics competitors, for the third straight year, and Lewis & Clark’s team was awarded the gold medal for teams for the third consecutive year as well.

Wisda was the top overall competitor at NFC tournaments this season, besting students representing over 40 schools that attended the three regional championship tournaments (Lewis & Clark, Linfield and Pacific University.) Wisda’s championship was notable for two reasons. First of all, Wisda’s wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018 make him the first ever three time winner of the award which dates back to 1982. Secondly, Wisda won the award only with fall semester points; he earned enough credits to graduate in December, leaving him ineligible to compete at Pacific last weekend.

Wisda’s championship came by a few points over fellow Lewis & Clark student Decker O’Donnell (CAS ’18), who was the top overall individual events student at the Pacific tournament. O’Donnell advanced to final rounds in six events, including wins in Communication Analysis, After-Dinner Speaking and Informative Speaking.

Lewis & Clark’s team was also honored at the awards ceremony, earning the gold medal for overall program performance. It is the third consecutive year L&C won the gold medal for excellence in both speech and debate. Lewis & Clark had never won gold in three straight years prior to 2018. Lewis & Clark also was the top overall school at Pacific in Division II.

Other standout performances at the Pacific tournament included:

Ally Knighton (CAS ’21) who was the third place individual events student. Knighton advanced to five final rounds, finishing 3rd in Prose Interpretation, and second in both After-Dinner Speaking and Poetry Interpretation.

Basil Hawley (CAS ’19) advanced to four final rounds in individual events.

Mary Talamantez (CAS ’21) finished in second place in Extemporaneous Speaking.

The parliamentary debate teams of Kate McDonagh (CAS ’20) / Austin Smith (CAS ’20) and Charlie Brothersen (CAS ’19) / Brandon Roth (CAS ’20) both advanced to semifinals. Roth was honored as the second place individual speaker at the tournament.

The Lewis & Clark team has the next two weekends open before returning to competition, though two forensics students will travel to Salem on Friday to participate in an exhibition debate at the Oregon State Penitentiary.