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      High school students stranded by Sandy return home

      North Myrtle Beach High School mock trial team posing for a picture in New York.

      MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WPDE) - A group of Horry County high school students is home safe after being stranded in New York because of Hurricane Sandy. North Myrtle Beach High School's mock trial team was in the Big Apple for an international mock trial competition, where they competed against 36 teams from five countries.

      Superstorm Sandy didn't overshadow the team's joy of placing sixth in the competition. The ten students had to spend a few extra days in New York because of Sandy.

      Thursday evening, Kim Hardwick waited for her son Bailey Phillips to arrive at Myrtle Beach International Airport.

      "Very anxious, just want to get my arms around him and give him a big hug and congratulate the team for a job well done. They've put in many hours for this competition," says Hardwick. "This group can take on anything I believe."

      She was joined by other parents, holding signs and flowers.

      "Of course we were worried, but we have wonderful chaperones. They kept us right on top of things. They started planning the moment they got there of what they were going to do. We changed flights, tried to book an earlier flight, and of course that was cancelled. Then they just hunkered down and waited out the storm. We were worried, but we were very confident in the adults that were with them," adds Hardwick.

      Finally the group walked off the plane and into the arms of their families. All proud of their placement in the competition and to be home again.

      "We enjoyed it, and we stuck together, and I believe that's why were are such a good team. In any situation, we grasp together, gel together, and we just kept taking the next step forward," explains Bailey Phillips. "We had all the power, all the things we needed, and we actually had a scavenger hunt the day after the storm in the hotel, which really made a lot of fun."

      Not only did the team do well in the competition, senior Stephanie Pacheco also brought home an individual trophy. Out of all of the competitors, Pacheco won most effective attorney.

      The students stayed in Brooklyn, so they were not severely affected by the storm.

      The students are now gearing up for a regional competition in February, then the state competition the following month.

      During mock trial competition the students showcase their legal knowledge, skills, and presentation abilities.