Webb debate team wins national championship

Over spring break, a Webb debate team earned a national championship at a competitive tournament held at the Claremont Colleges. 

Two teams of three students, including Mila Levitin-Shilman ’27, Christina Teng ’27, Nancy Chen ’27, Mirabel Raphael ’24, Hanbo Xu ’25, and Felicia Wang ’27, traveled to Claremont McKenna College on April 6 for the academic year’s final debate. 

The students competed in four rounds of spirited debate with the two highest scoring teams advancing to the “grand final” round. The debate topics for the initial rounds were published in advance, however, the final two were secret, forcing the debaters to think on their feet. 

Webb’s team of Mirabel, Felicia, and Hanbo won all four qualifying rounds and faced a team from Monrovia in the finals, where the topic was: “Unless consenting to transfer ownership, individuals should retain their biologic property, even when it leaves the body.” 

The teams had 20 minutes to prepare for the finals, and Webb clinched its victory following a vigorous debate. 

“It was an exciting and well-argued debate, and, fittingly, Mirabel closed out her debating days at Webb with a rousing third speaker speech that helped solidify Webb’s victory,” Humanities instructor Allison Madar said, adding that all six debaters worked hard preparing for the tournament in the weeks leading up to the big day. 

In addition to the team victory, Mirabel placed third in the individual competition and Hanbo was 11th. 

April 18, 2024

12:54 PM PDT