The Hotchkiss Speech and Debate Team emerged victorious in the first league debate of the year held virtually on Sept. 13. Thanks to an all-around team effort, Hotchkiss won the First Place School award in the Roxbury Latin School Tournament, going 11-1 and scoring 2098 points, three wins ahead of the second-place school. In total, 88 students from 13 schools participated in the tournament.
“Every member of the team started the year well,” said David Conti, debate coach and instructor in classics.
In the novice competition, Alex Cherenkov ’21 was the first place speaker and Ben Who ’24 finished in third place in his first debate with the team. Cherenkov and his partner Jason Shan ’23 were the First Place Novice Team. Who and his partner Sada Schumann ’22, also in her first competition, were the Second Place Novice Team. All four novice debaters finished with over 260 points in three rounds of debate, placing them in the top eight.
On the advanced team, co-captains Annabel Wallace ’21 and Beatrice Conti ’22 were the First Place Advanced Team. Conti was the Second Place Advanced Speaker, finishing with 266 points. All four of the Advanced Speakers (Wallace, Conti, Stella Ren ’22 and Ein Jun ’22) finished with at least 260 points as well. Because this tournament was virtual, Ren competed from Shanghai and Jun joined from Seoul.
Since the start of the academic year, the team has been preparing for the tournament with coaches Conti and Thomas Fisher, instructor in history, philosophy and religion.
“This is a great start and demonstrates how well-prepared everyone was,” said Conti. “All of the advanced debaters have worked hard to support the new students and make sure the whole team was ready for this event.”
The Roxbury Latin Tournament marks the start of a busy year for the team. They will compete in 12 league tournaments, an international competition, and the Model United Nations at Yale. All tournaments will be held virtually this fall.