On March 17, 200 debaters from 30 schools in Connecticut convened at Amity Regional High School for the Connecticut Debate Association State Finals. These debaters included 52 varsity and 48 novice teams. On a 4-1 decision, Ridgefield’s Max Cumming & Paul Kim won the varsity championship over Hamden’s Aakshi Agrawal & Kayla Johnson, while St. Luke’s Marco Volpitta & Amelie Warneryd won first place in novice. This was the second state championship in a row for Ridgefield High School; last year, Will Barth & Kunal Chauhan took home the top team award. 

Cumming and Kim pose with their trophies after finals. (left to right)

Cumming and Kim pose with their trophies after finals. (left to right)

The resolution for the day, that “Executive orders should require congressional review,” dealt with common questions about the legality and morality of recent executive orders. In the Connecticut Debate Association, this one topic is debated for the entire tournament, with teams alternating what side they are arguing for. A 12-page information packet was handed out at 9AM as research material during the one hour preparation period. 

The structure of the State Championship included three preliminary rounds before breaking the top two teams to a single final round. This format meant that results depended heavily on speaker points and ranks as tiebreakers, meaning that not all 3-0 teams broke.

Ridgefield's Lauren Chakraborty & Omika Suryawanshi, Farmington's Allen Haugh & Dylan Suffredini, Stamford's Augustus Doricko & Simmi Agarwal, Warde's Cameron Luther & Max Lee, and East Catholic's Antonio Cosme-Plein & Erik Renner all went undefeated in preliminary rounds, but were unable to break.

Though Amity's Ananya Kachru & Julia Nadelmann and Daniel Hand's Isabella Reynolds & Sam Thorpe earned the highest speaker points at the tournament, they had one and two losses, respectively, and were thus unable to break. Reynolds earned the top speaker award.  

The Connecticut debate season ends with Yale's Osterweis tournament on April 9, and, potentially, a rescheduled qualifier for the Coolidge Cup in May.