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Fighting Smelt

These members of the Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate Team were successful competitors at the 46th Annual Smelt Classic hosted by the team at LCC on Dec. 1 and 2. Left to right are Lydia Partridge, Ayesha Ahmed, Camren Thornton, Mitchell Levy and Olivia Shulke.

The Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate Team hosted and competed at the 46th Annual Smelt Classic on Dec. 1 and 2.

Fourteen regional and national colleges were represented at the tournament featuring 13 categories of speech and debate events.

Though LCC was not eligible for team sweepstakes awards at its own tournament, many competitors experienced individual success.

The Fighting Smelt were led by Olivia Shulke of Castle Rock, who advanced to the semifinals in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) public debate. After a perfect 5-0 record in the preliminary rounds, she was eliminated in a contentious debate about the United States’ trade sanctions on Zimbabwe, notes a press release from the college. Shulke also placed second in Persuasive Speaking with a compelling presentation about organ donation.

Ayesha Ahmed of Cathlamet continued her hot streak in speech events. She was named champion of Persuasive Speaking for her presentation on food deserts in America. She also placed fifth in novice Impromptu Speaking.

Mitchell Levy of Kelso placed fifth in Editorial Commentary with a speech exploring Chinese foreign investment. He also was named top novice in Informative Speaking and second speaker in junior IPDA debate.

Lydia Partridge of Longview was named fifth speaker in novice IPDA debate in her first collegiate tournament.

The speech and debate team will take some time off between academic quarters. They will be back in action at the Viking Invitational hosted by Western Washington University Jan. 25-27.

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