Home-Turf Tournament Concludes Stellar Term for Debate Team

Anyone wandering the Upper School on Sunday, December 2, might have found it difficult to get a word in edgewise.

The Speech and Debate team hosted quite the articulate crowd, as over 150 students from 15 DANEIS League schools suited up to engage in parliamentary debate, impromptu speaking, and a prepared interpretive reading at the multi-event tournament.

In the end, Hotchkiss topped the leaderboard as the overall first-place school, followed by Winsor, and BB&N finished just out of medal contention in fourth place, a mere six points behind third-place St. Paul’s.

Of BB&N’s 16 competitors, half were novices, who gained valuable experience and even notched some impressive achievements. Jack Lichtenberger ’21 and Alexi Melki ’21 finished eighth and ninth, respectively, among the 76 novice speakers. In her first competition ever, freshman Julia Shephard placed twelfth.

In the advanced division of 76, Geoffrey Goose ’20 was third for impromptu speaking, Harry Golen ’19 and Talia Belz ’19 ended up the fifth-place pair in parliamentary debate, and individually overall, Harry finished ninth and Talia fifth.

Organized by Head Coach Sarah Getchell and Assistant Coach Zoe Balaconis, the tournament capped off a highly successful fall term for the team. In October, Talia, Harry, and Sophie Collins Arroyo ’19 came home from the Internationals in Toronto, Canada, with the trophy for first-place American team, and Talia was named the first-place American competitor. Additionally, Sophie qualified at that tournament for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship, also to be held in Toronto, in April. Talia and Aurash Vatan ’19 had previously qualified for Worlds by winning tournaments earlier this fall.

BB&N will step up to host the International Championship for about 40 schools from October 31 to November 2, 2019.

Above photo L to R: Talia Belz ’19, Harry Golen ’19, and Sophie Collins Arroyo ’19 are happy to bear the burden of the trophies they won at the International Championship in Toronto.

Top photo L to R: Sophomores Victoria Che and Aidon Gillies from Loomis Chaffee and Harry Golen ’19 look on while Talia Belz ’19 performs Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" in the interpretive reading round.