TJC debate team retains national championship title

The TJC Speech and Debate team earned its second consecutive national championship at the American Forensic Association’s national tournament held April 5-7 at the University of Alabama.

“This tournament is the most difficult one to qualify for, as students from both universities and colleges must demonstrate consistent quality in their events over the year,” said M’Liss Hindman, TJC speech professor and team director.

The TJC team qualified five students in a total of seven events for the tournament. They accumulated points throughout the competition and finished as the Community College Division national champions.
 
Immediately following that victory, the team traveled to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament that was held April 8-13 in Reno, Nevada.

The tournament was attended by almost 60 community colleges and is the largest comprehensive national tournament held each year.

TJC took 10 students to the tournament, including: Mackenzie Clayton, Van; Cooper Ezell, Tyler; Chris Flores, Muleshoe; Michelle Lopez, Mesquite; Gio Ceja Lua, Muleshoe; Laurel Maynard, Tyler; Carson Moreland, Hughes Springs; Daniella Suarez, Mesquite; Johnny Vasallo, Mesquite; and Nick White, Dallas.

Three returned as national champions:
• Carson Moreland of Hughes Springs, Prose Interpretation
• Nick White of Dallas and Cooper Ezell of Tyler, Parliamentary Debate
• Nick White, IPDA Debate
 
Other winners included:
• Cooper Ezell, bronze in IPDA Debate
• Johnny Vassalo of Mesquite, silver in Prose Interpretation
 
TJC also won Silver Debate Sweepstakes.

The TJC Speech and Debate team has been in existence for more than 60 years and was one of the first programs in the state to compete in collegiate forensics.

For more information, go to TJC.edu/speech.

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