(MODESTO, CA)—The Modesto Junior College Speech and Debate team continued their winning streak at the 2014 Santa Rosa Junior College Speech and Debate Tournament, held October 10-11 in Santa Rosa, CA. Squaring off against competition from all over northern California, MJC was recognized as outstanding overall, taking sweepstakes awards in every category and earning a plethora of individual awards.
In team parliamentary debate, the partnership of Ron Thompson and James Baugh had a strong showing through the open quarter finals. This was Thompson’s first time competing in the open division. Michael Rourick and Jon Sahlman advanced and finished as semi-finalists. In the novice division, Megan Chatelain and Casey Shoblom, and Rick Morris (debating as part of a hybrid team with Chabot’s Arnel Felizardo) represented MJC in both the quarter and semi-final round. Chatelain and Shoblom cleared and moved on to a final round against the top-ranked Santa Rosa Junior College team, and on a 3-0 decision MJC won the final round, taking home the gold medal in novice parliamentary debate.
In addition to their competitive success, several MJC debaters were awarded speaker awards for their rhetorical eloquence throughout the tournament. In novice, Morris walked away with a second place speaker award and Chatelain achieved first place. In open, Rourick took fifth place speaker, Sahlman took second, and Baugh finished as the tournament’s top speaker in parliamentary debate. MJC debaters found themselves debating a wide variety of policy topics at this tournament, ranging from California’s Proposition 46 to the role the United States government should take in the fight against ISIS.
In individual events—which includes events in limited preparation, platform speaking, and dramatic interpretation—MJC team members were also successful. In extemporaneous speaking, students have 30 minutes to prepare and practice a seven minute speech with sources. In the novice division, Chatelain took a finalist award. In the open division Rourick collected a finalist award, Baugh won the silver medal, and Sahlman secured the gold. With two first-place finishes in extemporaneous speaking, Sahlman will qualify for the national tournament next spring if he can earn one more win.
In Impromptu speaking, an event that requires students to compose a five minute speech based on an unexpected prompt with only two minutes of preparation, Sahlman took the bronze medal. Sahlman collected a finalist award in communication analysis, a speech that critically examines the rhetorical methods of an art campaign about street harassment, and was also a bronze medalist in open persuasive speaking, with a speech exploring problematic loopholes in the special minimum wage act.
Baugh took home the gold in persuasive, with a speech advocating reforms in the way Law Enforcement agencies use the COMPSTAT crime reporting system.
MJC prevailed again in Lincoln-Douglas debate, with debaters giving compelling arguments for and against plans to develop earth’s moon for water, minerals, and energy. In the novice division Morris, Chatelain, and Shoblom cleared to a semi-final round. In defeating the top debater from Chabot College, Chatelain assured victory for MJC and closed out the novice division leaving MJC to take home the top three awards.
Ryan Guy, MJC’s coach and director of intercollegiate forensics, said “I’m ecstatic about the team performance. Words can’t begin to describe how proud of them I am. They work so hard and deserve all this success.”
The MJC team has two weekends off before they travel to the University of the Pacific where they will be competing against top teams from across the country.
For more information about the team and upcoming events, contact Coach Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 575-6110.