For Immediate Release
March 28, 2014

The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Forensics Team finished fifth in the nation among community colleges at the 2014 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament.

The tournament was held March 21-23 at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Eighty university and community college teams participated.

Every member of the team earned points toward the Fighting Smelt total score. Top finishers for LCC were freshmen Marty Kay of Kelso and Ben Soleim of Longview. The duo was the top seed in Novice Parliamentary Debate with a 5-win and 1-loss preliminary round record. Kay and Soleim lost in the quarter final round to the University of Kentucky. Based on their performances, Soleim was the national champion speaker for the division and Kay placed fifth.

In individual events Kay, a freshman in only his second quarter of competition, was a quarter-finalist in After Dinner Speaking. He finished in the top 24 after being eliminated against competitors from Ball State University, Marshall University, and Marion University. Freshman Bonnie Ellis of Cathlamet received an Excellent Award in Impromptu Speaking after placing in the top 30 percent of over 259 speakers entered in the event.

Other members of the team who gained points for the Smelt included sophomores Tanner Wiley of Longview, Rosse Rodriguez of Longview, Holly Lemmons of Kelso, and Erin Mastoras of Medford, Oregon, and freshmen Ben Vasion of Cathlamet and Tyler Stewart of Longview.

The success at the national tournament followed a solid performance for the Smelt at the Pi Kappa Delta Great West Regional Tournament held March 7 and 8 in Twin Falls, Idaho. Soliem and Kay finished as semi-finalists in Novice Parliamentary Debate. Rodriguez and Lemmons were both honored with Excellent Awards in Extemporaneous Speaking.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Daniel Schabot, Director of Forensics/Speech Communication,

News and Media Contact:

 Wendy Hall, Vice President, Effectiveness & College Relations, Lower Columbia College


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