The Fullerton College’s forensics speech and debate team dominated the 19th annual Cal State Fullerton, “Blumer Speech and Debate Tournament” on Saturday.
The debate team added another impressive win to their belt after a successful undefeated victory for Michael Wu and Zach Turner as they took the gold at the Rio Hondo Intermural.
The competition appeared fierce as Fullerton faced schools like Glendale Community College, CSUF and Long Beach City College but the Hornets proved to be victorious and swept the competition with an impressive win of at least three-quarters of the competition, according to team member Zach Taylor.
“It was a very amazing day for us,” Taylor said. “We all showed up and did as good as you’re going to get.”
In just her second competition debut, Taylor Engle took first place in both of her individual events; persuasion and informative as she competed against 30 people in each category.
There are two rounds where the judges eliminate and narrow it down to five finalists for the third round.
An informative event can be related to a speech that informs the audience, Engle’s topic was “psychic numbing” which is related to genocide.
For the persuasive event, the goal is to persuade the audience to take action. Engle’s topic was, “dense breast tissue” which encouraged the audience to become aware of dense breast tissue and how it’s a risk that can lead to breast cancer.
Engle, Journalism major, describes competing in debate as a curiosity that sparked into a hobby after she took a Speech 100 class.
“I took public speaking last semester and I really loved it,” Engle said. “I love talking in front of people and having an audience’s attention.”
Brennan Zoellner also competed in the individual event and took fifth place in persuasion.
In the team Public Forum debate, the whole team secured five slots of the 10 places. There were three teams that remained undefeated and took first through third place. Rachel Romo and Jamie See claimed first with a 4-0 victory for each round.
Following in second place, Kenneth Baer and Sarah Benedict and in third, Michael Wu and Taylor. Andrew Glen was paired with CSUF’s Shawn Brady and shared the fourth place title.
Following in seventh, Felicia Cazares and Kitiney Phumchun while Paula Sunga and Joseph Phillips took eighth.
Baer took first place for the top-speaker debate award, while teammates Phumchun took second, Romo and See in fourth and fifth and Wu in seventh as top speakers in the tournament.
“Under most circumstances I would be disappointed to take third but it’s kind of hard to be disappointed when the only people that beat you are your teammates,” Taylor said.
Taylor added that the team hopes to get more support from the school after the success of the Blumer Tournament.
“There is not many community colleges that are renowned for communications or debate that I know of and I think we can be one,” Taylor said. “We have a really great communications faculty that engage in students.”
The forensics team will compete at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association at Mt. San Antonio College, Dec 5-7.