CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University student Loni Sturm of Albany took first place in open persuasive speaking at a recent tournament in Washington - another successful performance for the OSU forensics club.

The club recently attended the 38th annual Smelt Classic Tournament at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash., which featured nearly 20 schools, including Cameron College (Lawton, Okla.), Boise State University, and Columbia Basin College (Pasco, Wash.).

"The Lower Columbia tournament is a long-standing tradition in the Northwest," said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. "Every year the team looks forward to it. That excitement translated into some impressive wins."

In individual events the team demonstrated its strengths. In addition to Sturm's first place prize, Kyle Bidwell of Sumner, Wash., won second place in open extemporaneous speaking and program oral interpretation and third place in open impromptu speaking. Kori Thornburg of Kennewick, Wash., took second place in novice impromptu speaking and was a finalist in novice persuasive speaking. Anna Crandall of Salt Lake City took third place in novice persuasive speaking. Kelsey Irish of Williams, Ore., was a finalist in novice impromptu speaking and novice informative speaking. Bryan Stevenson of Gresham was a finalist in novice impromptu speaking

The wins continued in International Public Debate Association events. Bidwell and Cory Harris of Hillsboro took home gold awards, while Daniel Meiwes of Corvallis took home a bronze award. Thornburg was recognized as the fourth best speaker in novice IPDA debate.

The traveling squad was completed by Fanghui Ren of Jiaozuo, China, Jamil Barbar of Portland, Jana Hodgins of Clackamas, and Ryan Ensor of Corvallis.

Celebrating its 118th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus. The team, open to all students in good academic standing regardless of experience or academic background, has a full slate of tournaments and activities planned for the 2010-11 season. Those interested in becoming more involved with the club can contact Porrovecchio at

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Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230