The HWS Debate team earned both team and individual awards at Novice Nationals and at the Cornell Intervarsity tournament, hosted at Cornell University in February. The two competitions featured 208 total participants from more than two dozen colleges and universities.
Each tournament involved five “preliminary rounds,” followed by sudden-death “elimination rounds” between the tournament’s top-ranked teams. In the Intervarsity tournament, the HWS pair of Amanda Ngo ’19 and Grace Marshall ’19 was the No. 1 ranked team after the preliminary round and they qualified for semifinals. Ngo was named the tournament’s best speaker, while Marshall was tied for second place. The pair’s performance was HWS’ best result at the Cornell Intervarsity since Taylor Murray ’17 and Daniel Schonning ’16 won the tournament in 2016.
HWS was also represented at Novice Nationals, a concurrent tournament for first-year debaters. Sarim Karim ’22 was the Novice tournaments’ seventh-place speaker, from a field of 136 competitors. The team of Karim and Reed Herter ’22 were ranked 17th, just missing advancing to elimination rounds with the top 16 teams. John Camara ’19, Assistant Coach Daniel Berman and Head Coach and Associate Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes were selected to judge in the elimination rounds.
These awards follow a successful showing at the University of Rochester’s Brad Smith Debate Tournament, the opening competition of the spring semester. Joshua Harper ’19 was the tournament’s seventh-place speaker, as the pair of Harper and Hannah Dora Patterson ’22 reached the Varsity Final. The team hopes to replicate these successes as it heads to George Washington University for Northeast Regionals.
The HWS Debate team was founded by Barnes in 2004 as an extracurricular group. Now, the team participates in more than a dozen tournaments every year (including the National and World Championships), in addition to hosting two tournaments of its own. The HWS Round Robin, an invitational tournaments comprising 16 of the world’s top debate teams, will take place April 5 and 6.