Debate moves up in rank


Abbigail Sullivan

Nick Sadri, Mert Yercel, Nash Phillips, Urvi Jain, Grace Melendéz and Mishva Patel celebrate their regional victories on March 18, 2023, at Cosby High School.

Debate takes down opponents in the regional competition and aims for the big prize of returning home with a consecutive state champion title.

This year’s regional debate team primarily consists of underclassmen, although their age shows to be no indicator of their success.

Debaters begin the preparation of their topics in October which they present at regionals in March.

This year’s regional topics include the Republic of India signing the Artemis Accords and the United States federal government’s security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Sophomore partners Mishva Patel and Grace Melendéz placed second in Public Forum. Sophomore Urvi Jain and senior Nick Sadri placed second in Policy Debate, while junior Mert Yercel and sophomore Nash Phillips placed third. Sophomore Ahana Dutta received an honorable mention with her freshman partner Nilufer Karahan.

“Current debate captains Cheyenne Kandiyeli and Jacob Gronniger were crucial to this year’s regional success,” said Mishva. “With our team captains being seniors who placed first in states last year, our team has had many opportunities to practice and gain knowledge on what to expect.”

Students will return to Cosby on April 1, 2023, for the super regionals competition where they will debate against other regional winners across Virginia. The top three winners will advance to states.