Wiley College debaters win first individual events national title | Arts & Culture
The Great Debaters of Wiley College, the Melvin B. Tolson/Denzel Washington Forensics Society, claimed their first Individual Events National Championship title at the March 2013 National Christian College Forensics Association Tournament in Siloam Springs, AR.
The win makes Wiley the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to earn a national team forensics championship title. The Great Debaters placed second in combined Overall Team Sweepstakes.
The team also made an historic accomplishment by “closing out” the final round of Novice Poetry. A difficult feat to accomplish, a close out occurs when all finalists are from the same school.
Wiley’s debaters earned 35 awards during the tournament, bringing the school’s year-to-date trophy count to 321. Twenty-five schools from 15 states competed in the tournament.
Individual results from the tournament are as follows:
Austin Ashford, a freshman from Union City, CA, was named National Novice Individual Sweepstakes Champion, Novice Dramatic Interpretation Champion, Novice Prose Champion, Novice Dramatic Interpretation Champion, and Novice Poetry Champion.
Drake Pough, a freshman from Union City, CA, was named Open Poetry National Champion. He placed second in Open Duo Interpretation (with partner, Farah Habad), third in Open Dramatic Interpretation, and placed fifth in Open Prose.
Ropafadzo Mpofu, a junior from Kilgore, TX, was named Lincoln Douglas Debate Novice National Champion. She is the first Black female to earn such a title.
Rayla Crawford, a senior from Houston, TX, was named Faith Literature National Champion. She placed fifth in Open Programmed Oral Interpretation.
Ailey Pope, a senior from Kansas City, MO, placed eighth in Parliamentary Debate.
Eric Robinson Jr., a freshman from Fort Worth, TX, placed fifth in Novice Individual Tournament Sweepstakes, fourth in Duo Interpretation (with partner, Dominick Taylor), and was named Top Novice in Duo Interpretation (with partner, Dominick Taylor). He also placed third in Novice Prose and third in Novice Poetry.
Farah Habad, a freshman from Union City, CA, placed third in Novice Individual Tournament Sweepstakes, second in Duo Interpretation (with partner Drake Pough), fifth in Novice Programmed Oral Interpretation, second in Novice Prose, and fifth in Novice Poetry.
Dominick Taylor, a junior from St. Peters, MO, placed fourth in Open Duo Interpretation (with partner, Eric Robinson Jr.), and was named Top Novice in Duo Interpretation (with partner, Eric Robinson Jr.). Taylor placed sixth in Novice Poetry.
Sadiq King, a freshman from Magnolia, DE, placed second in Novice Poetry and fourth in Novice Programmed Oral Interpretation.
Tyler Butler, a sophomore from Katy, TX, placed fifth in Open Extemporaneous Speaking.
Pheron Russell, a junior from Terry, MS, placed second in Novice After Dinner Speaking.
Kai Scates, a freshman from Lancaster, CA, was named Top Novice in Faith Literature. She placed fourth in Novice Poetry.
The Melvin B. Tolson/Denzel Washington Forensics Society is a competitive speech and debate team, affiliated with Pi Kappa Delta, the National Forensics Association, and the American Forensics Association.
For more information about the debate program at Wiley College, please contact Coach Sarah Spiker Rainey at (903)927-3084 or email@example.com.