Sydney Erhardt and Megan Bauer walked into the crowded lecture hall scanning for familiar faces and corralling evidence boxes, timekeepers, and stray novice team members.
It wasn't difficult to spot friendly competitors, but socializing time was limited because as debate team captains, they needed to be sure their younger team members got to their rooms on time and they could make last minute changes to their case.
This was the Eastview Debate Tournament, the most significant challenge yet for the team, but by the end of the day, the most successful contest yet this year for the Bomber Debate Squad.
The varsity squad, made up of captains Erhardt and Bauer, finished in the 4th position of the nineteen teams entered, winning three of their four rounds.
Of immediate importance to the team was that their success came in the context of a tournament that featured five of the six or seven top teams in the state: Eagan, Eastview, Chanhassen, St. Paul Academy, and Cannon Falls.
Two of those teams will be the Bombers' major competitors in the Section 3 tournament in January. Bauer and Erhardt have compiled ten wins in three tournaments this season.
Novice debaters Miranda Felton and Cassidy Parrott, equaled their varsity teammates' win total with ten also. The highlights of their season came with a four wins and one loss total at the Anoka tournament and a three wins one loss score at the Eastview contest. In both cases, they were ranked in the top ten in their division.
Nolan Hartl and Logan Bauer have not been able to attend as many tournaments as their teammates, but have counted three wins in their total. They also had very high individual speaker points in the Eastview contest.
The novices end their season with three more contests before they have a state tournament of their own the first weekend in December.
The varsity team debates through November and December with section and state contests in January.