POWELL, Wyo. - The Northwest College Forensics Team is once again ranked in the upper echelon of the nation’s colleges and universities.
The National Parliamentary Debate Association ranks NWC third among community colleges in the country and 20th among all colleges and universities in the nation that participate in parliamentary debate.
The NWC team ranking is the result of a total-team effort, but it’s also due in no small part to the success of two individuals. Justin Rogers of Buffalo and Saige Smith of Powell teamed up again this year to post enough wins to earn a 56th ranking out of all the 751 ranked debate teams.
This ranking in itself brings another honor to the debating duo: since 2001, the top 50 two-person teams in the country have been invited each year to participate in the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE). Rogers and Smith were invited last year as freshmen and have now qualified again (for bracketing reasons, the top 64 teams participate in the NPTE).
The NWC forensics coaches believe Rogers and Smith are the very first community college team to qualify twice for the prestigious tournament.
In order to be ranked, the teams must compete in the open division at tournaments, which is analogous to varsity level of sports, which means they’re competing against mostly juniors and seniors. The NWC forensics coaches estimate there are roughly 1,700 open division teams competing nationally for a spot in the rankings.
Northwest College is one of only three community colleges that have ever received invitations to the NPTA.
The team still has several more opportunities this season to climb even higher in the rankings and will spend the last two weekends in February at tournaments in Albuquerque, N.M., and Rock Springs.