Santa Fe’s debate team earns 3rd place overall in the Crossings debate tournament


Santa Fe's debate team stands proud as they take third place in their fifth competition of the year at Crossings.

Megan Tran, Santa Fe Managing Editor

On Jan. 12-13, the Santa Fe debate team won third place sweepstakes at their tournament at Crossings Christian with many of its members winning individual awards as well. Juniors Ishan Bhanot and Sidney May won third place in the Champions Public Forum. Junior Christine Nguyen also won first in the Champions Lincoln Douglas division and Sydney Atkins earned the title of top public speaker in the Qualifying Public Forum.

This was the fifth debate tournament of the school year so far in addition to others at places such as Westmoore and Edmond North. Santa Fe debate teacher Brit McCabe was responsible for guiding the kids throughout the competitions and is thrilled with the team’s success at the last tournament.

“It’s amazing because the team just gets better and better each year,” McCabe said. “I’m always proud of the kids regardless of the results because I know they work as hard as they can for every contest but seeing them sweep all of these awards makes me even happier.”

Preparation for the tournament took place throughout the year by the team gaining experience through previous local tournaments and also developing arguments for their individual cases which can certainly be daunting and time-consuming. Ishan Bhanot debated over the issue of Spain granting Catalonia its independence and his countless hours of research certainly paid off with his third place ranking.

“Overall, developing solid arguments and finding strong evidence for my cases typically takes about 4-5 hours and an additional week of research,” Bhanot said. “However, the payoff is completely worth it when I have an ample amount of evidence for my cases during tournaments and I’m confident enough to present a solid argument.”

Other debate team member Nguyen earned her first place spot by arguing that plea bargaining should be abolished in the United States criminal justice system. As this is her third year of being a debater, Nguyen enjoys the competitive environment of the tournaments and stumping her opponents with her strong arguments.

“I love the competitive spirit in-round and I like the communicative aspect as I get to dissect and explain what’s happening and what should change, “ Nguyen said. “ I also enjoy seeing my opponents baffled and confused when they realize they can’t prove that they’re right against my case.”

After ending this competition on a strong note, the debate team will be preparing for the next tournament, the Monty Python Invitational, on Feb. 3-4 at Norman High School.


For more information, contact Megan Tran at [email protected]