The Hillsdale College debate team per­formed well this past weekend at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn­syl­vania. Lucy Meckler | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College debate team won first place debate sweep­stakes this weekend at a tour­nament at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn­syl­vania.

The eight debaters com­peted in the Lincoln-Douglas debate style, fin­ishing on top through it was the first com­pe­tition of the season for seven of the members.

Sophomore Lucy Meckler and senior Alexandra Negrich won second place in the open division and novice division, respec­tively. Meckler also won first place debate speaker in the open division.

Meckler said the whole team worked together to research the topic: police mis­conduct.

Three debaters com­peted in speech events. Freshman Patrick Mitchell, who was com­peting for the first time, won first place in the per­suasion cat­egory, and senior Mary Blen­dermann won second place in the impromptu cat­egory.

Debate coach Matthew Doggett said he was really proud of the team, since the worst anyone did was to break even on wins and losses.

In the final debate round in the open division, Meckler’s opponent argued the federal gov­ernment should increase reg­u­la­tions on police’s ability to con­fiscate mate­rials from people.

Doggett described Meckler’s argu­ments: “The federal gov­ernment [would] require states to use their funds in certain ways…it is uncon­sti­tu­tional. Police, because reg­u­la­tions are unclear, are ham­strung — they just don’t act, [so] crime increases.”

Meckler and Negrich both lost on 2 – 1 deci­sions.

The tour­nament was the first one for freshman Justin Politzer, who went 3 – 3.

“It was a trial by fire. I came in knowing basi­cally nothing,” Politzer said. “I came out knowing basi­cally how to debate.”

Sophomore Kathleen Hancock said she enjoyed this tour­nament more than pre­vious ones.

“I feel more com­fortable as a second-year debater, knowing people on the circuit and some of the coaches,” she said.

Meckler said the 10-hour drive was mis­erable, but good for team bonding.

“I’m really proud,” Meckler said.  “It was def­i­nitely a team effort from start to finish.”