LCC Speech & Debate Convincingly Opens Virtual Conference Season

Fighting Smelt Virtual

LCC Speech & Debate Convincingly Opens Virtual Conference Season

The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech & Debate Team began the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) season last weekend at the Steve Hunt Classic tournament, hosted by Lewis & Clark and Whitman Colleges.

In light of campus and travel restrictions put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, conference tournaments are being held virtually with students participating over online platforms. Despite adjusting to the new tournament format and facing challenging technology issues, the Fighting Smelt emerged with a convincing result.

70 colleges and universities from 27 different states participated in speech and debate events at this year’s Steve Hunt Classic. Lower Columbia College finished second in 2-year college sweepstakes. This impressive result was a true team effort, with five different members of the Fighting Smelt squad earning sweepstakes points across multiple competition events.

Ilinca Slabu of Longview advanced to final rounds in three different categories, placing fourth in junior Editorial Commentary and sixth in junior Extemporaneous Speaking. Slabu also advanced to the octofinal round of junior IPDA debate, which placed her within the top 16 competitors in a challenging field. 

Reagan Gosselin of Longview advanced to quarterfinals in novice IPDA Debate, which placed her among the top eight competitors in the field. Gosselin also finished fourth in novice Editorial Commentary and competed in Persuasive Speaking.

Molly Mahoney of Kelso was named champion of junior Editorial Commentary for her compelling report on conservatorship in the United States. Mahoney also competed in After Dinner Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, and IPDA debate.

Jagger Norris of Longview placed second in novice Extemporaneous Speaking for his limited preparation speech that advocated for a political action committee to implement specific election strategies. This was Norris’ first final round in any event. 

Nyssa Miller of Toledo advanced to a final round for the first time in her forensics career, and ultimately placed fourth in novice Impromptu Speaking. Miller also competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and IPDA debate.

Competing in speech and debate competition for the first time, Teresa Pritchard of Kalama earned her first wins in IPDA debate. Pritchard also competed in Impromptu Speaking.

Destiny Losolla of Longview also began her competitive speech career by participating in Impromptu Speaking.

LCC Speech and Debate will be putting on an exhibition public debate as part of Lower Columbia College’s Community Conversations series on Thursday, October 15 at 12:00pm. The Fighting Smelt will return to competition on October 24 at the Boxer Rebellion, hosted by Pacific University.

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

Copyright 2022 Lower Columbia College | All Rights Reserved.