A group of Hillcrest High School students advanced into the final round Wednesday of the annual National Bicentennial Competition on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Fifteen advanced debate students from the school used debate skills in public-hearing-like settings in the competition to argue the worth of the Bill of Rights.They were among the top 10 teams from 44 state champions to advance into the final round after preliminary competition Monday and Tuesday.

For the competition, a winning team was selected from each congressional district, then those winners competed to select a state champion in the 44 participating states.

Teacher Susan Malone said the Hillcrest students were praised for quick thinking and reaction during their debates. "Judges said a lot of other students had to stop and use notes or take a lot of time. But our students were well prepared and able to react quickly."

Winners of the competition are scheduled to be announced late Wednesday night.

Members of the Hillcrest team are Amber Bigler, Randall Butterfield, Ryan Call, Kyle Curtis, Beth Coleman, Graden Jackson, Michelle Krelo, Angela Litster, Nathan McCleery, Paul Newman, Jennifer Nielson, Brock Pease, Melanie Salcho, Melanie Serassio and Allen Thornell.

Malone and Sharon Kerns are the group's advisers.