El Camino College Forensics Team Named 2021 National Champs
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El Camino College Forensics Team Named 2021 National Champs

The El Camino College Forensics Team finished its season as the 2021 Community College National Champions in all three national debating tournaments hosted by the National Parliamentary Debate Association, a primarily four-year college national tournament where individual teams of two debaters must qualify in order to attend.

El Camino qualified three teams to the tournament and was the only community college to advance debaters to elimination rounds with Melissa Qin and Ashley Yoon finishing as the 16th team in the nation. At Phi Rho Pi, the community college national tournament, El Camino won the debate tournament sweepstakes in the prestigious large-school Wyman division. 

In addition to countless bronze and silver awards, individual gold medals were awarded to Kaiyl McClain and Sarah Kahn for the Parliamentary Debate. In her first year on the team, Olivia Penland won gold medals for International Public Debate, Impromptu Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking. Penland also tied for the second-place speaker in the nation overall.  She and her partner Will Brandt also won the Bossard-Twohy Award, given to the parliamentary debate team judged by their competitors as representing the finest qualities of intercollegiate forensics.

El Camino Superintendent/President Dr. Dena Maloney praised the championship team for their victories while adjusting to a virtual competition setting.

“We are all very proud of these dynamic students and the level of excellence that they have set on behalf of our college,” Dr. Maloney stated. “The long list of accomplishments that our team has achieved speaks volumes of their dedication and commitment despite the challenges that the global pandemic had placed on this year’s competition. The Warrior spirit runs deep within our award-winning Forensics team.”

El Camino Forensics Director Francesca Bishop also acknowledged the team’s ability to be competitive despite the challenges of a pandemic-worn academic year, and is already planning for the future.

“The Forensics Team still managed to maintain the size and quality of the program thus benefiting the students enormously,” Bishop stated. “We now go into recruitment mode and will be doing outreach to local high schools and private after-school programs to promote the stellar opportunities available at El Camino College,” Bishop stated.

May 17, 2021