Fullerton Speech and Debate Victorious at Spring and Pacific Championship Tournaments

Fullerton College Speech & Debate was outstanding at their first competitions of the spring semester as 20 students competed at the Pacific Championship tournament and the PSCFA Spring Championship tournament hosted at Palomar College. The tournaments brought to Southern California some of the best minds from Cal State Fullerton, University of Southern California, Cal State Fresno, UC San Diego, and dozens of other community colleges and universities.

Approximately 100 debate professionals, students and professors, from the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and seven other universities and colleges met at Fullerton College for three days of competition. Co-director of Hornet Speech & Debate Jeanette Rodriguez said hosting the tournament was a significant undertaking, but such a valuable service to the debate community on the west coast that she would gladly host again. Dr. Adam Symonds, Director of Forensics at Arizona State University, noted his visit to Fullerton College was excellent. “The tournament was well planned, and the hospitality created a warm and inviting event during high pressure competition.”

At the Pacific Championship tournament, Germaine Baltazar and Mike Becerra were the outstanding Hornets of the weekend as they were crowned tournament champions in the novice policy debate division by defeating Arizona State University on a unanimous decision from a panel of judges. Becerra said, “The feeling of winning it all is indescribable. We spent all our spare time preparing and our hard work paid off. I would like to thank my partner Germaine, our Hornet teammates, and our coaches for their hard work in helping us achieve success. Victory is a team effort.”

Baltazar and Becerra head to the Western Novice National Championship later this week to compete for the West Coast Policy Debate Crown.

The Pacific Championship was an all-around success. Additional policy debate awards included: 10th place novice speaker Mike Becerra; sixth place novice speaker Madison Devries; fourth place novice speaker Germaine Baltazar, and fifth place junior varsity speaker Josh Kazarian.

The second big Hornet victory came from the speech team as Lynzie Hinman advanced to the final round of novice impromptu, which had more competitors than any other individual event at the Spring Championship tournament. Impromptu is widely known to be one of the most difficult events in public speaking because competitors do not know their topic in advance. The goal of impromptu is to give an organized and persuasive speech in as little as one minute of preparation time. Hinman’s performances have earned her a spot to travel to Rochester Hills, MI where she will compete at a national speech and debate contest.

The entire team resumes competition again on March 8 at the Novice and Junior Varsity Policy Debate National Tournament hosted by Cal State Fresno. The Fullerton College Speech and Debate team is coached by Jeanette Rodriguez, Jeff Samano, and Toni Nielson.

Author: Fullerton College

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