The Hotchkiss Speech and Debate Team welcomed over 100 debaters from 15 schools to the 20th Annual Hotchkiss Debating and Public Speaking Tournament held over Zoom on October 24. Hotchkiss once again won the tournament, bringing the team's string of consecutive victories at league tournaments to four.
Sixteen Hotchkiss debaters joined the competition led by Co-Captains Stella Ren ’22, Rahul Kalavagunta ’22, and Beatrice Conti ’22. The debaters practiced almost every night leading up to the event in an effort to hone their debating skills and teach the new debaters a new event, Impromptu Speaking.
These efforts paid off as Novice debaters, some participating in just their second tournament, won awards in every category. In Impromptu Speaking, Isaiah Stevens ’25 and Sam Rodrigue ’25 finished in first and second place. In Parliamentary Debating Peter Belizov ’24 and Stevens finished in first and second as well. The teams of Berlizov and Parth Jain ’24 and Kavya Ramasamy ’24 and Rodrigue finished first and second in the Novice pairs competition. In the Novice Overall, Hotchkiss took the top three places: Berlizov in First, Stevens in Second, and Rodrigue in Third.
At the Advanced level, the experienced debaters did well against the top debaters in the league. Beatrice Conti was the Second Place Overall Advanced Speaker and finished third in Advanced Impromptu Speaking. Lisa Berlizova ’22 was the Top Advanced Debater and the Third Place Overall Advanced Speaker. The pairs of Berlizova and Ein Jun ’22 and Meilan Antonucci ’24 and Ben Who ’24 finished first and third in the Advanced Parliamentary Team standings. This was the first Advanced competition for Antonucci and Who.
Overall, the two Hotchkiss teams at the debate finished 1-2 in Parliamentary Debating and 1-2 in the Top School standings.
Next, the team begins preparations for upcoming Zoom debates hosted by Buckingham, Browne and Nichols, and by Andover.