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Pacific Forensics top overall debate team in season openers

Steven FariasOct 20, 2015

In the world of collegiate speech and debate, season opening tournaments give squads the opportunity to measure themselves against season-long competition and establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with over the next nine months. That's exactly what Pacific's Speech and Debate team did last month. With multiple tournament championships and exceptional performances by every competitor, Pacific walked away from the first two season opening tournaments as a Top Overall Debate Team.

Western Kentucky University Fall Fiesta, Sept. 17-21, 2015
Pacific's Speech and Debate team was victorious at Western Kentucky University's season opening tournament, The Fall Fiesta. Pacific competitors Jonathan Bruce and Reed Ramsey were honored with bids to the Third Annual Alexis Elliott Memorial Round Robin for Lincoln Douglas Debate. Representing the top returning competitors in Lincoln Douglas Debate, the competitors of the round robin had an accumulated total of 25 elimination round debates at nationals. Bruce finished 3rd and Ramsey finished 5th, making them the top national competitors in Lincoln Douglas Debate.

Not to be outdone by their colleagues, other Pacific competitors were putting on an impressive show of skill in parliamentary debate. The partnerships of Noreen Javed/Oula Miqbel & Evan Haynes and new Pacific student, Dallas Phillips, each finished preliminary rounds with undefeated records. Both teams were unfortunately defeated in the Semi-Final round. However, out of all of the debaters competing at the tournament, Oula Miqbel was ranked at the Top Parliamentary Speaker! The balance of the top 10 was filled with Pacific students as well: Ms. Javed: 4th, Ms. Phillips: 7th, and Mr. Haynes: 10th.

In the main Lincoln-Douglas portion, all Pacific students competed together, Jonathan Bruce was a quarterfinalist and 3rd Speaker overall, whilst Reed, Dallas, and Oula would all finish in the top 10.

As a result of all this success, Pacific placed 2nd in the debate sweepstakes out of 23 schools.

Golden Gate Opener at San Francisco State University, Sept. 25-27, 2015
The following week, the Pacific Debate team travelled to San Francisco State University for the Northern California Forensics Association's season opener, the Golden Gate Opener. Golden Gate is essentially four different tournaments in one weekend (two IE tournaments, one Lincoln   Douglas tournament, and one Parliamentary Debate tournament) and led by four new team members, Pacific left San Francisco with several awards and overall team accomplishments.

Joslynn Howard, a freshman who was a top competitor at Pacific's Jon Schamber High School Invitational last year, lead the team's overall Individual Event performances. Across the two tournaments, Joslynn competed in three final rounds taking 4th (not once but twice!) in Novice Prose Interpretation and placing 2nd overall in Novice Persuasive speaking with her speech on the Erasure of Bisexual Individuals.

Dallas Phillips, a sophomore transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College, lead the team's overall debate performances. Phillips and her partner, Evan Haynes, finished 2nd in Open Parliamentary against defending tournament champions from Pt. Loma Nazarene University. Furthermore, Phillips Dallas was the 9th Place Speaker in Open Parliamentary debate, 7th in Open Extemporaneous speaking and was named Tournament Champion in Open Lincoln Douglas debate! She defeared debaters from California State University, Chico, California State University, Sacramento and University of Nevada, Reno's top Lincoln Douglas debater. Phillips, who qualified to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence last year despite still being in high school, was Pacific's top overall competitor at the tournament.

Freshmen Kayla Gerdes and Dominic Lesaca scored impressive marks as novice debaters. In Novice Parliamentary debate, the two entered elimination rounds as the tournament's top seed and finished as Semi-finalist. Furthermore, Kayla was also the Top Speaker in Novice Parliamentary debate finishing 1st out of 48 other Novice debaters! In Novice Lincoln Douglas debate Lesaca finished as an octofinalist while Gerdes defeated debaters from California State University, Chico and California State University, Sacramento, making her the Tournament Champion in Novice Lincoln Douglas debate! In individual events, Gerdes placed 2nd in Novice Informative speaking while Lesaca placed 3rd in Novice Extemporaneous speaking.

Seniors Bruce and Ramsey finished as octofinalists in Open Parliamentary Debate with a perfect 6-0 record after preliminary rounds. Seniors Javed and Miqbel finished as quarterfinalists. Bruce was also the 10th Place Speaker in Open Parliamentary debate and Senior Evan Haynes was the 5th Place Speaker in Open Parliamentary debate. In Open Lincoln Douglas debate, Bruce finished as an Octo-finalist, Ramsey and Haynes finished as Quarter-finalists, and Javed finished as a Semi-finalist. Together with Phillips, these five demonstrated Pacific's dominance as they formed the top five seeds in elimination rounds! In Individual Events, Haynes finished in 5th Place in Open Extemporaneous speaking and 6th Place in Open Impromptu speaking while Bruce finished in 4th Place. As a result of this entire team effort, Pacific finished the three day swing in 3rd Place in University Sweepstakes and 1st Place in Debate Sweepstakes out of 33 other colleges and universities.

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