On April 9, Westfield’s team of Benjamin Mione & Benjamin Small triumphed in a 3-0 decision over Shepaug Valley’s Matthew Marchese & Bianca Getzel at the 36th annual Rollin G. Osterweis Invitational, debating the motion, “This house believes that environmental groups should commit violent actions in pursuit of their aims." On the novice side, Amity’s Mounisha Anumolo & Kate Yuan were victorious over Jane Burdett & Doran Sekeran of Weston.

The Osterweis Invitational, hosted by the Yale Debate Association, is open to all Connecticut high school students and following the eradication of the parliamentary division at UPenn’s Liberty Bell Invitational, is one of only three East Coast invitationals with parliamentary debate as an event. The tournament, judged by Yale debaters, typically marks the end of the East Coast debate year. 

Forty-five teams competed in the varsity division and twenty-three in novice, starting the day with four prelims followed by a semifinal and final round. In order to defray the barrier of entry for attending teams, the tournament had free registration, provided lunch, and all judges were provided.

Novice teams were provided with a demo round by members of the Yale Debate Association, and the tournament overall had much of the feel of an informative workshop rather than a competition. In a deviation from tradition, judges disclosed reasons-for-decision after rounds and spent significant time giving feedback. 

Debating in a hybrid pair, Julia Nadelmann of Amity & Kunal Chauhan of Ridgefield were the tournament’s highest scoring team, with Nadelmann garnering first speaker honors and Chauhan following with a fourth speaker finish. Jake Zeyher of Wilton took home top speaker in the novice division. 


SEMIFINALS:
Shepaug Valley Matthew Marchese & Bianca Getzel def. Choate Anselm KB & Baji T (3-0)
Westfield Benjamin Mione & Benjamin Small def. Loomis Sia Goel & Catherine Lee (3-0)

FINAL:
Westfield Benjamin Mione & Benjamin Small def. Shepaug Valley Matthew Marchese & Bianca Getzel (3-0)


Our East Coast correspondent is Paul Kim, who debates for Ridgefield High School.