SPEECH TEAM WINS SWEEPSTAKES AWARD AT LOCAL TOURNAMENT Azusa, CA: The Azusa Pacific University Speech and Debate Team won Second Place in the Four Year College and University Sweepstakes at the Todd V. Lewis Invitational held October 23-24, 1999 at Biola University, La Mirada, CA. Thirty-seven colleges and Universities from across the southwestern United States participated in the two-day event. The First Place sweepstakes award was won by Point Loma Nazarene University with Arizona State University placing Third behind APU. Overall, the APU team brought home a total of twenty-five awards! In the Parliamentary Debate competition, Azusa Pacific advanced four teams into elimination rounds and advanced one team to the final round with a perfect, undefeated record. Overall, APU teams captured the Second, Third, and Fifth place awards by beating teams from schools such as The University of Southern California, The Claremont Colleges, U.C.L.A., Point Loma University, and Vanguard University.
Leading the APU charge were Seniors Rebecca Luginbuhl (Altadena, CA) and Tiffany Pofahl (El Paso, TX) who received a perfect record in their preliminary competition and only lost two ballots out of 18 throughout the two-day competition. Luginbuhl and Pofahl advanced to the final round of competition and won Second Place after losing in a split decision to Point Loma Nazarene University in the Open Division competition. In addition to their team awards, out of the 84 debaters entered in the competition, Pofahl was selected by the judges as the 10th Place Top Individual Debater at the tournament and Luginbuhl received the 5th Place Top Individual Debater award.
Placing right behind Luginbuhl and Pofahl and capturing Third Place in Open Division Parliamentary Debate competition was Sophomore Mike Plunkett (Lakewood, CA) and First Year student Lauree Austin (Boring, OR). Plunkett and Austin were undefeated in elimination round competition but were not able to advance to the final round because a "luck-of-the-draw" pairing placed them against Luginbuhl and Pofahl in the Semi-Final round. The debate round was not held and the senior team advanced.
Additionally, the team of Sophomores Grey Brannen (Las Vegas, NV) and Allison Hummel (Loveland, CO) rounded out the APU wins in Open Division competition by capturing Fifth Place overall. Again, the team was undefeated in preliminary competition before receiving another "luck-of-the-draw" pairing against Luginbuhl and Pofahl in the Quarterfinal round of competition. The senior team advanced and Brannen and Humnmel received the Fifth Place award.
In the Novice Division of Parliamentary Debate competition, the APU team of Sophomore Shannon Becker (Highland, CA) and First Year student Layne Anderson (Yuba City, CA) joined forces to advance to the Octa-final round of competition.
In the Individual Events competition APU brought home a record number of awards for a tournament this early in the season. At the top of the APU awards was Sophomore Mike Plunkett (Lakewood, CA) who captured First Place and was the Tournament Champion in Communication Analysis with his speech on the rhetorical strategies revealed in the creation of the spontaneous shrine erected in the form of crosses at the site of the Columbine High School shootings. Plunkett also advanced to the final round of competition in Open Extemporaneous Speaking where he received a finalist award. In other Open Division competition, Senior Rebecca Luginbuhl (Altadena, CA) won Third Place in Impromptu Speaking, Third Place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Fourth Place in Persuasive Speaking with her speech on the perils of Meningitis outbreaks on college campuses. Sophomore Allison Hummel (Loveland, CO) also brought home some Open Division awards with her Fourth Place finish in Impromptu Speaking and a Third Place finish in Persuasive Speaking with a speech on the need to use ultrasounds in addition to mammograms to better the chances of detecting breast cancer. Senior Tiffany Pofahl (El Paso, TX) advanced to the Semi-Final rounds of competition in both Impromptu Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking.
In the Novice Division of Individual Event competition, an additional Tournament Championship was brought home to the APU campus by Junior KristiAnne Hough (Las Vegas, NV) who received First Place in Novice Poetry for her presentation of a compilation of selections which examine the courage and perseverance of the human spirit. Sophomore Rosaline Zylstra (Modesto, CA) won Second Place in Novice Persuasive Speaking with her speech on the dangers and harms of on-line pharmacies. Zylstra also advanced to the semi-final round of Novice Impromptu Speaking. Additionally, First Year students Rebecca McLain (Elk Grove, CA) won Second Place in Extemporaneous Speaking and Marcia Aguilar (Atwater, CA) won Fourth Place in Novice Dramatic Interpretation.
Also competing for the APU team were Senior Amber Kelleher (Huntington Beach, CA), Juniors Tiffany Austin (Boring, OR), Crystal Reed (Palm Spring, CA), Allison Volk (Bountiful, UT), Sophomore Ivette Diaz (Covina, CA) and First Year student Danny Van Dyken (Lynden, WA).
Assistant Director of Forensics Marcia Berry noted, "It was just a great tournament in so many ways. It is always fun to watch the students enjoy themselves, learn so much about what they are doing, and enjoy learning about competition. It is great to see how God is working in each person's life and what this activity teaches him or her - no matter how hard that lesson may be sometimes!" APU Director of Forensics, Dr. Kevin T. Jones stated, " This is the best finish at a tournament we have ever done this early in the year in the four years I have been the coach of this program. We asked a great deal from this team in the past two weeks in order to get ready. Many sacrifices were made and many hours were invested. But the results paid off. I lost track of how many personal goals were met over the course of the two days. Anytime we can beat a major State university program like Arizona State University, it is a major feather in our caps and a real blessing. Point Loma has a very strong team this year, so to meet them in the final round of debate and to finish right behind them in the team sweepstakes is outstanding! I really like this team and am very proud of how they are responding to the challenges I through their way." The team will send several students to the Watson/Lancer Invitational October 30-312 at Pasadena City College before preparing for the Griffin Invitational to be held November 13-14 at Grossmont College in San Diego.