Ben Bressette, a senior from Broad Run High School, captured first place in Congressional Debate during the Memorial Day weekend at the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) National Debate and Speech Tournament in Washington, D.C.
Attended by more than 2,000 competitors, the NCFL event is considered one leg of the “triple crown” of high school debate. (The Tournament of Champions, hosted by the University of Kentucky, and the National Speech & Debate Association's National Tournament are the other two events. All three require competing at qualifying tournaments.)
Bressette came out first in a 173-person field at NCFL. This competition included more than 10 hours of debate covering two days. Twenty-four students were named as finalists.
Last year, Bressette placed third at the Tournament of Champions and second at NCFL. He also placed second at the Virginia High School League (VHSL) State Championship. Bressette was named the 2022 Virginia District Student of the Year by the National Speech & Debate Association. This award goes to the debater who best represents the tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor: humility, equity, integrity, respect, leadership and service.
“Ben is one of the most generous and talented humans I know and ever have known,” said his debate coach, James Dunning. “His passion for inquiry and debate and social justice have transformed him and those around him these past years, especially in his leadership roles as captain of our Student Congress team and the Broad Run Debate and Speech Team. We will miss him a lot as he moves on.”