With two tournaments in the books to begin the year, Eastern Wyoming College’s Speech & Debate Team has kicked the year off in historic fashion for the fledgling program. Head Coach John Hansen and Assistant Coaches Ron Bronson and Anne Hilton laid the foundation last season for a team that could compete with the best programs in the region and nationally and that work has begun to reap benefits in the 2012-13 academic year.
Their first tournament of the year was at the 31st Pioneer Trails Forensics tournament hosted by Casper College, on October 4-6th. First-year EWC students Shaylyn Reichert & Jessica Rammel, competing in their first collegiate debate tournament, were undefeated through three preliminary rounds. The pair ultimately advanced to the quarter-finals in Novice Parliamentary debate. Reichert also won an award as a 5th rated speaker in the field. The team of Tom Webster & Tim Vanlitsenborgh also competed and were eliminated after six rounds.
On October 26-27thin Colorado Springs, the team faced their toughest test yet at the 68thJames “Al” Johnson Invitational hosted by Colorado College, boasting a field from four-year universities such as CU-Boulder, University of Texas at Tyler, Northern Arizona University, US Air Force Academy and University of Utah among others.
In the JV debate division, Reichert & Rammel started on fire against a much tougher pool of competitors.
Heading into the fourth round, the pair were the top-rated team in their division, winning four of their first five rounds against teams from Texas Tech University, Colorado Christian University and the University of Houston. In the end, Reichert & Rammel finished 12th in the field of nearly thirty teams. Webster & Vanlitsenborgh also had success, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the elimination rounds.
“It’s indicative of the kinds of students we have here at EWC; they can go up against anyone in the country and have success,” said Coach Hansen.
The team will travel to Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming on November 9-10th for their final tournament of the fall semester. For more information about EWC Speech & Debate, including scholarships for talented high school forensics students, call Ron Bronson at 307.532.8231.