The HWS Debate Team spent the first weekend in November competing at the Huber Debate Tournament hosted by the University of Vermont. After five rounds of preliminary competition, the squad had three teams and two judges qualify for the elimination rounds of the competition. There were more than 70 teams competing and the field consisted of top ranked schools like Cornell, Duke, Rochester and McGill.
The team of Bart Lahiff ’20 and Sarim Karim ’22 earned the fourth seed going into the quarterfinal round. Additionally, Lahiff was ranked the 10th best speaker overall and Karim was ranked the fifth best speaker out of more than 140 competitors.
In addition, two novice teams — William Lewis ’23 and Elise Donovan ’22, and Sreyan Kanungo ’23 and Matthew Nusom ’23 — qualified for the novice semi-final round. After a hard-fought round on whether companies’ employees should have seats on the executive board, Kanungo and Nusom advanced into the novice finals where they debated the wisdom of holding a new constitution convention in the United States.
In addition to the team’s impressive placement in the novice and open brackets, the tournament recognized the performance of “rookie” debaters who are in their first year of competition. William Lewis ’23 was awarded with the third highest performance of anyone in this category, showing immense growth and capacity for success at only his second tournament of his career.
Judges Erik Wolf ’20 and Assistant Coach Marlene Pierce also had success as judges, with both being selected to adjudicate the quarter-final and semi-final round of the tournament. This is the highest placement for Wolf as a judge and recognition of the high quality of argument analysis that HWS debate cultivates.
Other HWS students who competed included Andrew Barsky ’23, Jacob Wallman ’20, Reed Herter ’22, Robert Coakley ’23, Tenzin Yonten ’23, William Koepp ’23 and Zaheer Bowen ’23. Student judges included Chris Costello ’22, Liam Sullivan ’20 and Noah Thirkill ’23.
Up next, the team heads to Ottawa for the Father Roger Guindon Cup.
The photo above features Sreyan Kanungo ’23 and Matthew Nusom ’23.