The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Making history and exceeding expectations

Simpson Speech & Debate bring back national titles
%E2%80%9CIt+was+nice+this+year+to+add+overall+national+title%2C+and+it+further+shows+how+competitive+our+team+is%2C+our+whole+team%2C+whether+you%E2%80%99re+a+freshman+or+a+senior%2C%E2%80%9D+Powell+said.
Photo submitted to The Simpsonian
“It was nice this year to add overall national title, and it further shows how competitive our team is, our whole team, whether you’re a freshman or a senior,” Powell said.

The Simpson College Speech and Debate team is making history, yet again, and brought back multiple awards to prove that said history was made. 

During the week before and during Simpson’s spring break, the team traveled to Glendale, Arizona, and competed in the Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Tournament. The team swept the tournament and were named the National Champions in Combined Sweepstakes, National Champions in Debate Sweepstakes and were runner-ups in the Individual Event Sweepstakes.

“I think it really highlights the work of our students, not just at the tournament, but throughout the entire year,” Tiana Brownen, the new director of Speech and Debate this year, said. “Every tournament they competed in, every event they practiced, and the hours of practice they did, it paid off, and to have that team success at such a big level is really exciting.”

This year’s winnings go down in school history as the highest the team has done at Nationals. The team went up against 58 other schools, and multiple students came home with at least one or more awards.

Brownen and Marisa Mayo, assistant director of Speech and Debate, are both proud of the team and were excited when the results were revealed. They both commented on the hard work the team has done and how it has paid off. 

“Every single person stepped up to do that for us,” Mayo said. “And we couldn’t be more proud of their commitment to the team. And I think all the students were more excited about team success than they were about their own accolades, which is really remarkable.”

The Speech and Debate team has seen a lot of success with their freshman, which makes up a significant part of the team. Throughout the season, the team has won a multitude of awards, and while there was surprise with how high individual events were due to success being mostly in debate, there was also excitement.

The excitement has been felt all season, with the team almost winning every tournament they competed in, which they had never done before. 

“It’s so exciting to see our students dedicated to team success, which I would argue is very consistent with Simpson’s legacy,” Mayo said.“All the students want to see the team succeed, so they’re willing to do whatever, whenever, in order to help us reach the result.” 

This year, Brownen and Mayo set the metric for individual events to at least five events instead of one or two. 

“I think that’s one thing that helps set our team apart, and I think that allows for those big wins, and winning nationals is a big win,” Brownen said. “It creates this electricity, for lack of a better word. The students exploded with joy, and it was so nice because each of the students was clapping and celebrating with each other and telling each other ‘congratulations’ and ‘You’re a rock star’ and ‘We couldn’t have done this without you’ and it’s kinda silly to talk about, but in that moment, it warms your heart.”

Sydni Powell, a member of the team, was a Rising Star Award Recipient and came home with Top Superior in Discussion, Top Superior in Student Congress, Presiding Officer Award, Excellence in Extemp Commentary, Excellence in Interviewing and was a Showcase Participant in Student Discussion. She wasn’t surprised when they learned how well the team did.

“It was nice this year to add overall national title, and it further shows how competitive our team is, our whole team, whether you’re a freshman or a senior,” Powell said.

Powell said the team didn’t predict their success, however, and some were worried about the coaching change, but she wasn’t worried about the change or heading into the season.

“At the end of the day, you still have a majority of the competitors who would be there to foster the culture, and you still had a really close coaching staff, and the coaching staff pushed everybody and worked to their strengths, to every individual’s strengths,” Powell said.

The season has two more competitions before they wrap up entirely, but due to the timing of one, only a few students compete since it aligns with finals week. The final tournament will be one or two students who are considered some of the best persuasive speakers, and they will go against the other best persuasive speakers in the country.

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Abby Hintz
Abby Hintz, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief & Layout Editor

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