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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State speech and debate team celebrates victorious weekend in San Francisco

Yvette Sanchez
The speech and debate team poses for a photo after the tournament

Coming off a successful tournament in San Francisco, Chico State’s Speech and Debate Team looks forward to their next competition in Reno this weekend.

The Wildcats took home first place in sweepstakes among four-year schools at the Golden Gate Opener, their first tournament of the season. They also had several qualifiers in multiple events, with four first-place finishers during the weekend. 

The team is led by director Mark Faaita and assistant coach Brett Butler-Camp. In Faaita’s three years as director, the team has become very successful, with a huge showing at last year’s National Tournament in Peoria, Illinois.

Sophomore Marcus Peoples, in his second year with the team, took first place in the extemporaneous event and third place for program oral interpretation.

“It was a big shocker, we had a lot of good competition,” Peoples said. “But I pulled through and I got first place.”

Photos of the team during the Golden Gate Opener (Yvette Sanchez)

Coming off a successful rookie season, junior Bailey James continued competing at a high level, taking first place in the after-dinner speaking event in the open division. The after-dinner speaking event allows each participant a maximum of 10 minutes to give a pre-written speech that is meant to be both humorous and informative.

Although she is not able to compete in Reno, James said the team has been hard at work preparing. She said she put herself to the side, helping wherever she could.

“I’m kind of like a team mom,” James said. “I’m just going to be on the sidelines texting everyone, even though I’m not going to be there.”

Junior Millie Kinnamont, who recently transferred from Butte College, was a standout in her first tournament with the team. She finished first in duo interpretation, along with her partner, Madison Gillen, as well as second in poetry interpretation.

Transferring schools is always hard, but Kinnamont said it was easy to go from the Butte College team to Chico State, especially since she came over with Gillen, her best friend.

“Mark [Faaita] and Brett [Butler-Camp] are like really chill professors,” she said. “It was really easy to be welcomed in and everyone was super helpful and very sweet.”

Kinnamont, like the rest of the team, has been working tirelessly to prepare for Reno. She plans on competing in after-dinner speaking, along with poetry interpretation and duo interpretation.

The Wildcats are set to travel to Reno and compete this weekend, starting on Friday.


Nathan Chiochios can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Nathan Chiochios
Nathan Chiochios, Sports Editor
Nathan Chiochios is in his third year at Chico State as a journalism (news) major. He is from Mountain View, a town in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is his second semester on The Orion, and his first semester as sports editor, and he looks forward to growing his journalism and writing skills. In his free time, he spends most of his time skateboarding and hanging out with friends and family.

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