Warrior Debaters Make College History by Winning Phi Rho Pi Tournament National Championship

April 25, 2022 Torrance, CA

For the first time in the 75-year history of El Camino College, the Forensics (speech and debate) team has won the highly competitive and prestigious overall Phi Rho Pi National Championship in held in St. Charles, Missouri earlier this month.

The 12-student Forensics team has made quite a name for itself over the years by winning state and national debate tournaments several times, thus making El Camino College a “powerhouse school” in the speech and debate competitions. However, this year, the 2021-2022 Forensics team won the highly coveted Phi Rho Pi distinction, which honors the best team across all categories and divisions.

On the road to history, El Camino College was the only community college team to compete in this year’s National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament against Cal Berkeley, University of Oregon, and Rice University, as the eloquently spoken students of El Camino College won the “Season Sweepstakes” title for 2022.

The Warrior Debating team won the Season-Long Sweepstakes, which is awarded to the school that accumulates the most points at speech and debate tournaments throughout the academic season. El Camino earned first place finishes in the Overall Division (both two and four-year institutions tournament, the Two-year Division,

El Camino College students Olivia Penland, Josiah Edwards, Sophia Dornberg, Uzair Pasta, Jared Hipsher, and Will Brandt, were invited to compete at the prestigious “National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence,” where they competed against 4-year colleges and universities. Jared, Will, Olivia and Josiah advanced to elimination rounds and finished the year as the top community college debate team in the nation.

“On behalf of the El Camino Speech and Debate Team, I would like to thank President Dr. Brenda Thames, the El Camino College administration, and the entire campus for their invaluable support of the team,” El Camino Speech and Debate Coach Brittany Hubble stated in an email to the campus community last month. “Our successes would not be possible without you and our students are proud to represent El Camino. I would like to thank our other faculty coaches Francesca Bishop, Director of Forensics, and Joseph Evans.”  

El Camino alumni Alyson Escalante, Rachel Lobo, and Li-Ren Chang served as assistant coaches and also proved to be an invaluable asset to the team’s victorious season.