MJC Speech & Debate Team takes home 1st Place
(MODESTO, CA 2/1/16)—The Modesto Junior College Speech & Debate team started out their spring season with a win as they brought home a 1st Place Sweepstakes award from the Keeling Invitational speech tournament. The tournament was hosted by Chabot College on January 29-30. The Sweepstakes trophy is awarded to the school that accumulates the most individual points over the course of the tournament. MJC students competed in events including parliamentary debate, individual events, and Lincoln-Douglas debate. At the end of the weekend, MJC students had accumulated enough points to overtake all schools competing at the tournament, including several four-year universities.
The tournament started Friday with a full day of parliamentary style debate. Over twelve grueling hours, MJC students sparred with wit and intellect as they debated a plethora of topics including green energy, social media, education reform, and sanctioning Saudi Arabia for human rights violations. Competing in open parliamentary debate for the first time, the partnership of Cody Peterson and Kendall Mead finished as quarterfinalists. In novice division, competing at their very first college tournament, the partnership of Sean Cox- Marcellin and Matt Maki advanced to finals and took home the first place trophy. MJC’s Assistant Director of Forensics, Taure Shimp, said, “Everyone invested a lot of effort in preparation for the competition. They truly demonstrated a mastery of argumentation—the one thing that’s not debatable is how talented they are.”
MJC students also performed well in speech events, which encompasses limited preparation speaking, platform speaking, and oral interpretation of literature. In Extemporaneous speaking, students have thirty minutes to prepare and practice a seven minute speech with sources. Megan Chatelain took home fifth place and teammate Haley Smith took second. In Impromptu speaking, students have two minutes to prepare a five minute speech based on an unexpected prompt. In the open division, Casey Shoblom and Kendal Mead both received finalist awards. In the novice division, Cody Peterson took a finalist award and Sean Cox-Marcellin took first place. In open Persuasive speaking, Haley Smith and Megan Chatelain took finalist awards. Finishing out speech events, Caterina Grossi took home a finalist award in Informative speaking and a second place in Communication Analysis.
In Lincoln-Douglas debate, MJC students were very successful. In this event, students use evidence to argue for and against the topic. This year, the resolution is about the need to restrict the process of bioprospecting. In this event, eight out of nine MJC students finished preliminary rounds with winning records, with Casey Shoblom, Megan Chatelain, Rick Morris, and Caterina Grossi going undefeated. In Semi Finals Megan Chatelain beat Santa Rosa Junior College’s Ben Taylor to close out the event for MJC. Based on preliminary rankings, Lillian Gage, Matt Maki, Kendall Mead, and Casey Shoblom finished as quarter-finalists, Rick Morris finished as a semi-finalist, Megan Chatelain was awarded second place and Caterina Grossi received first place.
Ryan Guy, MJC’s Director of Forensics, was quoted as saying, “I am incredibly proud of our squad. This is the final semester at MJC for many of these students and it is inspiring and humbling to watch them grow and succeed as competitors and fantastic people.” MJC will travel to a tournament next weekend at Los Positas College. Then, Modesto Junior College will host the Northern California Regional Championship on February 19-21st.
For more information about the team and upcoming events, or publicity photos contact:
Ryan Guy, Director of Intercollegiate Forensics