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Victories for EC’s Forensics Team

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EC’s debate team competed in the Tabor Venitsky and LD Championships, a three-day event in Cerritos, Feb. 15 to 17.

Among the notable victories, Abigail Watkins won first place out of 59 competitors in the extemporaneous speaking contest. Meanwhile, Alejandro Rivera won second place, out of 73 competitors, in the impromptu speaking contest.

“Our top debate team won gold,” Francesca Bishop, professor of forensics, said. “We had a couple other teams win silver, and a couple teams win bronze.”

This tournament was important because, unlike normal tournaments, it had the same format as the state and nationals, she said. The Cerritos tournament was the official tournament preparing students for state and nationals.

“We are No. 3 of the community colleges in the nation right now, and we are No. 9 overall,” Bishop added.

In normal tournaments, contestants are informed of the topic 20 minutes before they are to compete, she said, and they can talk it over with their team, use the Internet and other resources to prepare during that time.

During this recent tournament in Cerritos, however, only the debate pair is informed of their topic. They cannot talk to their team about it, use the Internet, or any other resources; they have to have the topic and an understanding of it in their heads, she said.

“If they can’t find it then they lose. This has never happened to El Camino. I have just never seen it happen before,” Bishop said.

The topics broached this weekend covered a wide range of issues.

“We talked about education, at the tournament, and Iran’s nuclear power, and Afghanistan,” Joy De Guzman, 20, international relations major said.

I did seven rounds, made it through to finals, but then I lost, De Guzman said. My teammate lost, so I had to debate the next person, she said. We came close to winning, she said.

“I have been on the Debate team since the beginning of fall semester,” Brittany Hubble, 21, communications major, said. “I did leadership activities on campus and I was always good at public speaking.”

In preparation, I’m constantly watching the news, reading, and watching CNN updates, Hubble said.

You don’t have to really be knowledgeable. It’s just hard work, Bishop said. You really don’t know what you’re good at until you get exposed to it. It can lead to things, she said.

“The tournament was exhausting and fun, an adrenaline rush and high stress,” Hubble said, “and it was the most rewarding thing I have ever been a part of.”

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Victories for EC’s Forensics Team