LCC Speech & Debate Begins Virtual Season

The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team began their competition season with promising results at the Fran Tanner Open tournament hosted by the College of Southern Idaho on September 25 - 26.

Fighting Smelt Virtual

Five LCC students competed in speech and debate events against other colleges and universities from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and New Jersey.

In light of campus and travel restrictions put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most collegiate speech and debate tournaments will be held virtually with students participating over online platforms.

This year’s Fran Tanner Open was the first time in the long history of LCC’s forensics program that The Fighting Smelt participated in a fully online speech and debate tournament. The positive results from this tournament set the stage well for upcoming competitions that will be held in a similar format.

Ilinca Slabu of Longview debuted a new informative speech on the 1989 Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor and placed fifth in Open Informative Speaking. Slabu also earned her first career wins in Open IPDA debate and competed in Editorial Commentary.

Molly Mahoney of Kelso earned a bronze award for her editorial commentary on conservatorship in the United States. Mahoney also finished fifth in After Dinner Speaking and competed in Impromptu Speaking.

Nyssa Miller of Toledo and Reagan Gosselin of Longview both participated in their first collegiate speech and debate tournaments, and each earned their first career wins in IPDA debate. Miller also participated in Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking. Gosselin competed in Editorial Commentary. 

Jagger Norris of Longview earned his first career win in Open IPDA debate competition. He also competed in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Next up for LCC Speech and Debate is the Steve Hunt Classic, co-hosted by Lewis & Clark College and Whitman College the weekend of October 9th-11th. The Fighting Smelt will participate in this tournament with a larger team and hope to remain competitive with the top colleges and universities in the northwest.

Learn more about The Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team. For additional information contact Alex Brehm, Director of Forensics and Communication Studies Instructor, at

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