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Three Forsyth County students won big at Harvard’s prestigious debate competition
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Riverwatch Middle School students Bobby Missell, left, and Vinayak Menon took first place in the middle school public forum division at the 45th Harvard National High School Invitational Forensics Tournament on Feb. 18, 2019.

Students from Riverwatch Middle School took home top prizes at a prestigious national debate competition at Harvard University.

Vinayak Menon and Bobby Missell, both eighth-graders at Riverwatch, took first place in the middle school public forum division at the 45th Harvard National High School Invitational Forensics Tournament held at the university’s Cambridge campus over President’s Day weekend. Brian Yoo, another eighth-grader from Riverwatch, was in the runner-up team.

The event is considered the largest and most prestigious debate tournament in the country. Menon, Missell and Yoo went through three days of competition with round robin preliminaries and elimination rounds on the debate topic of whether the United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Students were evaluated on the validity of their arguments and presentations.

Menon was also recognized as the top speaker at the tournament.