Barlow’s Debate Team shines at competition

From left, are Coach Randall Smith, Brooke Curto, Hana Malik, Caroline Ryng,
Nicolò Marzaro, Ben Lewson, Cooper D’Agostino, Michael Lin, Aidan Pryor and
coach Evan Streams.

Back in 2007, students from Joel Barlow began competing at their first parliamentary tournament in the Debate Association of New England Independent Schools (DANEIS), winning numerous awards as the sole public school competing against elite private academies. Five years later, this Sunday at the Hotchkiss School, Barlow kept that tradition alive with seniors Nicolò Marzaro and Caroline Ryng earning the second place Advanced Team cup.

For the third tournament in a row this season, Barlow students took home hardware. Caroline and Nicolò had never paired together before, but they had already distinguished themselves this season with the former winning the Northeast Regional Championship title in the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debates and the latter winning the second-place varsity speaker and team awards at Farmington High School.

At Hotchkiss, the pair faced a different pool of opponents, well over 200 students from 20 private schools such as Phillip-Andover Academy and Choate-Rosemary Hall. They went 3-0, debating a wide variety of subjects with only 10 minutes to prepare winning cases about topics ranging from the Olympic games, cyber warfare, and invalidating online college degrees. Their perfect record of a combined 523 speaker points equaled the first-place pair. The tie could only be broken by rank in room.

Barlow also saw impressive gains in the novice division, where together with Caroline, all of Barlow girls swept every opponent they faced that day. Sophomore Brooke Curto and junior Hana Malik were undefeated, an important milestone for both debaters, neither of whom had ever gone 3-0 before.

Senior co-captains Ben Lewson and Cooper D’Agostino managed to pick up a win in the third round and first-time junior Aidan Pryor along with sophomore novice Michael Lin put in a solid effort, gleaning valuable experience.

The group will face private school competition again in January when they travel to Loomis Chaffee to debate eco-friendly building standards, but before that, they host their home tournament on Dec. 15.



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