The Contra Costa College speech team placed second among junior colleges in the Mustang Invitational forensics tournament at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton on Nov. 2.
The tournament ran all day and consisted of multiple forensic debate categories and featured 15 colleges from multiple states including Texas, Oregon and Nevada.
CCC’s speech team continues its tear on tournaments and was awarded second overall because of its strong individual placing in several category. Six out of the seven students for the team ended up making a finals appearance in at least one event.
Throughout the tournament, the team competed in nine different events.
“All of those finals breaks were at least top five. It was huge,” speech team Coach Randy Carver said.
Team captain and Middle College High School student Shreejal Luitel said, “It makes me feel really good because I remember starting off with the team last year. In the first couple of tournaments, we only had one or two breaks, but now it’s like six people break through and this is just our second tournament of the season. That’s incredible.”
Luitel performed well at the Mustang Invitational and placed first in Open Persuasion and earned second place in Open Informative.
Luitel said he’s excited for how well he performed, but still wants to improve and do better next tournament.
“Last time that I competed in Open Informative I came in fourth place and this time I came in second. Hopefully next time around the rate of change can be a little steeper and I can come in first.”
Competitor and journalism major Xavier Johnson competed in the open division for the first time and placed fourth in the Dramatic Interpretation event.
“Open is hard. The competitors’ speeches and technique are cleaner. They just have a certain experience level to them that is a little intimidating,” Johnson said. “It was fun competing against them because I got to see how good everyone else is. I thought to myself, I need to step my game up.”
Thanks to their stellar performances in the past two tournaments, Luitel, Johnson and computer science and business major Aman Butt have all qualified for the national forensics tournament.
But attending this tournament will probably be unlikely for the CCC team due to a lack of financing, Carver said.
Solano Community College took first place in the tournament, while Diablo Valley College placed just behind CCC in third.
Preparation for the tournament included “a ton of practice,” Carver said. “There is a lot of research, writing, drafting and a whole lot of memorization. All of that falls on the shoulders of the competitors. I’m just here to facilitate that.”
Competitor and speech team member Sydnie Alex said, “You need to put a lot of energy into it, but it feels really good when you’re done.”
The CCC speech team, as a whole, has seen a dramatic growth in numbers over the past few semesters.
Johnson said when he joined the team a few months ago there were very few members but, since his arrival, the club membership number has sprouted to 10 and is still growing.
“We’ve been trying to promote more on campus and we’ve had other faculty members promoting it as well,” Carver said.
He also said the biggest reason why the team is growing is because of the team recruiting friends. Also, being at events such as Club Rush and the Speech Night, which took place two weeks ago, helps spread the word about the club.