The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team hosted and competed at the 47th Annual Michael Dugaw Smelt Classic on December 7th and 8th.

47th Fighting Smelt Classic

Pictured left to right: Molly Mahoney, Eli Tovar, Felix Stöth, Mitchell Levy, Jagger Norris, Alex Brehm, Camren Thornton, Ilinca Slabu, Julia Mitchell, Elizabeth Brown

The tournament was attended by eight regional and national colleges. Though LCC was not eligible for team sweepstakes awards at their own tournament, members of the team experienced a number of truly remarkable successes.

Julia Mitchell of Kelso won The Shark Trophy, which is presented to the individual sweepstakes winner for success across all categories of competition. Mitchell placed among the top four competitors in all six of her competition categories, and was the champion of Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative Speaking, and Editorial Commentary.

Ilinca Slabu of Kelso had the best tournament of her collegiate career. She went undefeated in novice IPDA debate, and went on to be named co-champion alongside teammate Elizabeth Brown. Slabu also finished 3rd in Editorial Commentary and 4th in novice Impromptu.

Eli Tovar of Castle Rock was the champion of open IPDA debate, going undefeated across all of his final rounds. In finals, he defeated Oregon State University’s Tasha Robinson by successfully negating the resolution “The USFG should increase the federal excise tax on gasoline by 5 cents per year over the next five years.” Tovar also finished 5th in Impromptu Speaking and 6th in Editorial Commentary.

Molly Mahoney of Kelso was the champion of novice Impromptu Speaking, runner up in Editorial Commentary, and a semifinalist in novice IPDA debate.

Elizabeth Brown of Kalama placed 2nd in Prose Interpretation and was co-champion of novice IPDA debate alongside teammate Ilinca Slabu.

Mitchell Levy of Kelso was named top speaker in open IPDA debate. He also placed 4th in Editorial Commentary.

Felix Stöth of Aschaffenburg, Germany placed 5th in novice Impromptu Speaking and advanced to quarterfinals in novice IPDA debate in his last tournament with LCC.

Camren Thornton of Longview advanced to a final round for the first time in his collegiate career, placing 6th in novice Impromptu.

LCC Speech and Debate will now take some time off between academic quarters. They will be back in action January 24-26 at the Scheller Forensics Invitational hosted by Pacific University.

Learn more about The Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team. Contact Alex Brehm, Director of Forensics and Communication Studies Instructor, at (360) 442-2670 or by email.