Out of thousands of students from across the nation vying for a chance to compete at the National Speech and Debate tournament, Stony Point student Arnav Hiray not only qualified to compete but also placed in the top ten in the competition.

Arnav placed ninth in the Lincoln Douglas Debate category during the competition, which took place in June in Dallas. He debated more than ten rounds on the topic “Resolved: Violent revolution is just a response to political oppression” until he finally earned a spot in the top ten.

His qualification and placement is the result of hundreds of hours and practicing throughout the year, said Richard Colling, Stony Point Debate Coach.

“This achievement is remarkable for a student his age,” Colling said. “Most of the students that made it so far was graduating seniors and Arnav is just starting his junior year. He earned this; he worked very hard in May, June, and every day at the tournament to hone his rhetoric and strengthen each argument.”

In addition to his placement, Arnav has automatically qualified for next year’s national tournament. He has also been invited to try out for the official US debate practice team.