[Easton, PA] For the 4th time in the team’s history and the 3rd consecutive the Lafayette Forensics Society has been crowned champions of the Pennsylvania Forensics Association. The tournament took place February 19-21. Last year, the state tournament was one of the last tournaments the team attended before COVID-19 put a stop to that season’s competition. This year, as tournaments moved to an online format, the state also prepared for the tournament to be held online. Despite the hardships of online competition Lafayette Forensics is thriving and the state tournament was no exception.
The state tournament includes competition in 13 different events ranging from the performance of poetry to policy-based debate. On their way to the title, the team won ELEVEN of the THIRTEEN events. All told, the team won 37 awards, including the state title. While all of the championships and awards hold a special meaning to the winners, one event stands out. Each year, the Interstate Oratorical Association holds their annual tournament in April. The IOA tournament is the oldest running speech competition in North America. Each state can send TWO representatives to the IOA tournament and the state tournament is how Pennsylvania selects its representatives. The top two performers in Persuasive speaking are selected to represent the state at this prestigious competition. This year, Lafayette’s own Kelly Mwaamba (’22) and Scott Kamen (’21) placed as the state champion and runner-up in Persuasion! Lafayette also won both debate categories, Parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas. The team of Joshua Hale (’23) and Ceci Montufar (’23) were crowned champion in Parliamentary debate, which is the first time Lafayette has EVER won the state championship in that category.
In addition to winning eleven of the events, three Lafayette students also placed in Quadrathon, a category created to recognize the best overall speakers with multiple events across multiple genres (interpretation of literature, public address, and limited preparation). Kelly Mwaamba (’22) was the state champion in quadrathon, while Scott Kamen (’22) and Andrea Rivera Conte (’23) placed 2nd and 4th respectively.
The state tournament marks the unofficial beginning of the end of the year. The team will now transition into preparing for the national tournament season and will compete at the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Grand Prix, the American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events Tournament, the National Speech Championship, and the National Forensics Association’s Championship Tournament. For continued updates on the team’s successes, follow the team on Instagram!
Full Results are available online here.