Wiley College Great Debaters bring home national awards
April 21, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Sixteen members of Wiley College's Tolson/Denzel Washington Forensics team arrived home from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire National Forensics League Finals last week with an arm-load of trophies in individual and team events.
It was another first-place for the team in this final competition of the 2016-2017 academic year. The team 27 awards in all, including the President's Division 1 National Championship.
The National Forensics Association National Championship is a tournament that students must qualify for. This is only the third appearance of The Great Debaters at this championship.
It was the second big win in a month. The week of March 27 they made the long trek to Boise, Idaho, for the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament. Historically this is the one that makes a big difference to the Wiley team because Pi Kappa Delta is the forensics organization that denied the Great Debaters membership in 1935.
This year they placed second. They were one of 73 schools that endured more than four days of competition. Since 2014, when they were named Overall Sweepstakes Champions, they have garnered either first or second place at this national event, said coach Christopher Medina.
At the Pi Kappa Delta National tournament, Wiley garnered several individual championships. Junior Hailey Byerly won Poetry Interpretation; junior Air Kamal won Programmed Oral Interpretation; sophomore Michael Nelson won Dramatic Interpretation; junior Hailey Byerly, junior Francisco Sierra, junior Ta'Mara Hill, junior Yohannes Zecharias and freshman Louis Mendez won Readers Theater.