CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University forensics (speech and debate) team started the season on a high note at the Steven Hunt Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. The recent tournament featured more than a dozen colleges ranging from Boise State University to Whitman College.

Returning OSU team members David Kubota, a senior from Forest Grove, and Andew Leder, a senior from Albany, led the team. Kubota took second place in Forensics Criticism and fifth place in Open Impromptu Speaking. Leder took first place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking.

Newcomers Patrick Chambers, a freshman from Redmond, and Dalicia Fennell, a junior from Sutherlin, rounded out the wins for OSU. Fennell placed fifth and Chambers ranked second in Novice Impromptu Speaking.

"The start of the season always poses a challenge for us," said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the OSU forensics team.  "Most schools already have one or two tournaments under their belt. That we did so well against so many competitive schools is a testament to the drive and dedication of our students."

The team was also represented by returning students Forest Ledbetter, a senior from Sheridan, Loni Sturm, a junior from Albany, and Morgan Mansker, a senior from Sisters, and newcomer Johanna Steinbrecher, a sophomore from Portland. Dan Torres, a graduate student in the Department of Speech Communication from Reno, Nev., served as assistant coach.

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Mark Porrovecchio, (541) 737-8230