fighting smelt winners

fighting smelt team in Reno Nevada

LCC Speech and Debate Takes Home Awards from National Tournament


The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate Team earned several awards and other honors at Phi Rho Pi Nationals in Reno, NV. Phi Rho Pi is the national forensic association representing two-year colleges. Its weeklong national tournament is considered the premiere end of season speech and debate competition for community college students. This year’s tournament featured 52 top community college programs from across the country. In total, eight students from LCC competed in eight different speech and debate categories.

Charlotte Curry and Atilla Elik both won bronze medals in IPDA debate. This marks the third year in a row that LCC has had multiple debaters medal at the Phi Rho Pi national tournament. Both Curry and Elik advanced to the semifinal round before being eliminated by split decision.

Adah Moore was awarded the prestigious Warren-Dahlin Fellowship Award. This award is presented to the student competitor who best exemplifies the spirit of competitive speech and debate. Competing at her third and final Phi Rho Pi national tournament, Moore participated in IPDA debate and persuasive speaking.

Also competing at Phi Rho Pi Nationals were Jupiter Hall, Lukas Krutz, Seamus Mahoney, Xavier Moore, Keida Patterson. The team was coached by LCC Tutoring Coordinator Julia Mitchell and Communication Studies Faculty member Alex Brehm.

This tournament concludes the 2023-2024 speech and debate season for the Fighting Smelt. Prior to the end of the Lower Columbia College academic year, the Fighting Smelt will participate in two exhibition events on LCC’s campus. The Smelt will perform a public debate as part of this quarter’s Community Conversations series entitled Technology and Change. This event is at 11:30am on Thursday, May 9th, and will take place in Health Science Building room 101. The Smelt will also host an end of season showcase, which has not yet been scheduled. Both of these events are open to the public.



Alex Brehm
Director of Forensics
Communication Studies Instructor
Lower Columbia College

(360) 442-2670