For the last two months, students in Farragut Middle School's Debate Club have been preparing for the American Debate League Winter Classic.
On Saturday, December 17, four teams of Hastings students brought their A-game to compete in the tournament's Novice Division, consisting of three rounds with a total of 50 student competitors.
Student Poppy Leon placed 10th for Top Speakers, Felix Reitz placed ninth, and Gabriel Akar placed third. Among 22 other teams, the team of Gabriel Akar and Felix Reitz placed seventh, the team of Eden Greenberg, Anna Lapson, and Phoebe Gelfand placed sixth, and the team of Nami Saeed, Poppy Leon, and Karen Saltzman placed fifth, overall.
Their combined performance earned the Debate Club First Place out of 37 schools that competed.
"These students prepared for so long going into this competition," said Debate Club Advisor Devita Cruz. "They were in my room until 4:30 p.m. every day the week before the tournament. I'm so incredibly proud of the dedication that they put into their speeches and research, which ultimately led to their success!"