CSU, Chico News

Speech and Debate Team Finishes in the Top 10 at National Tournament

Date: None

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Sue Peterson, Director
Speech and Debate Program

The Chico State Speech and Debate team took its largest-ever team to the National Forensics Association (NFA) National Tournament at Ball State University April 14–18, with 14 students competing in over 25 events. Members also had their first-ever Lincoln Douglas (LD) debate elimination round qualifier and top-ten speaking award.

Justin Flick, a junior studying business administration, was seeded 13th after six preliminary rounds and was ranked the sixth-place speaker out of 100 competitors in LD debate. Flick lost in the double-octafinal round but has vowed to return to the national tournament next year to advance even further in elimination rounds. The team achieved an 11th place finish in LD Debate overall in the national competition.

More than 100 universities and nearly 1,500 students participated in this year’s tournament. The Chico State team was coached by program director Sue Peterson, assistant director Scott Laczko and volunteer coach Mark Faaita.

“This is the first time we have broken a debate event at a national tournament in probably eight years,” Peterson said. “Justin is only a junior, and he was the only person from California to break in debate. It’s quite an achievement.”

In addition to attending this national tournament, Chico State competitor Adrianna McCain, a junior majoring in creative writing, competed at the prestigious American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) at University of Florida in Gainesville from April 1–4. McCain was the only Chico State student to qualify for the tournament this year and the first student in several years to qualify in two events. She competed in after-dinner speaking with a speech on the vocal fry register and in a program of oral interpretation titled “Manic Pixie Dream Girl Trope.” McCain was accompanied by graduate teaching assistant Kyle Stubbs and Faaita.

New members to the team will travel to Ohlone College in Fremont on April 30 for the regional Spring Fling tournament, designed to introduce new competitors to intercollegiate speech and debate competitions. In addition, Chico-area residents can see award-winning team members’ performances at the team’s Speech Showcase on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Plumas Hall, room 102 on campus.

“We had quite a small, young squad last year but we have a lot of committed students,” Peterson said. “We are now one of those teams to rival with.”

The Speech and Debate team is an Instructionally Related Activities program. All students at Chico State can compete on the team. No experience is required, and new competitors are encouraged to participate. For more information on the team or upcoming events, please contact Peterson at 530-898-4771 or sepeterson@csuchico.edu.