Debaters on top


Luciana Lee ’25, Lauren Nieto ’24, Sofia Barrera ’25 and Daniella Roos ’24 celebrate Lauren and Daniella’s success at the Montgomery Bell Southern Forum in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sofia Barrera, Staff Writer

Debate coaches Dr. Bricker, Mr. Katz, and Mrs. Randall accompany Mia Padron ’24, Lauren Nieto ’24, Daniella Roos ’24, Sofia Barrera ’25, Sofia Casado ’23, and Saramelia Lopez ’24 at the Emory University tournament.
Mia Padron ’24, Sofia Barrera ’25, and Lauren Nieto ’24 travel back from the Emory University tournament in Atlanta, Georgia.
Evangelina Tapanes ’25 and Luciana Lee ’25 walk to a debate round at the University of Michigan.

The Carrollton policy debate team has accumulated a variety of titles this 2022-2023 school year on the national circuit, and they are not finished yet. 

With a tournament winning novice squad, a successful junior varsity team, and the title winning varsity team, Carrollton debate has become unstoppable. Over ten debaters from all grades in the Upper School attended more than ten tournaments this season, having been one of the best in the program’s history. 

Many of these debaters spend hours learning arguments over the summer at intensive camps in preparation for the upcoming season. A timely and rigorous activity, policy debate is definitely the most difficult form of discourse available for high schoolers to explore current events and expand their critical thinking skills. Carrollton has fostered a triumphant team over the course of several years, which is also the only all-female team in the country. And this year was no different in terms of the dedication, commitment, and success of this outstanding team. 

The novice team had an excellent season, especially at the Marist Ivy Street Invitational Tournament. The pairing of Ludivine Horel ‘26 and Lilian Figueroa ‘26 won second place overall in their division, as well as third and fourth individual speaker places after a brilliant performance at one of their first ever tournaments. 

The junior varsity sophomore team had a series of successes as well. Starting the season in November at the University of Michigan, Sofia Barrera ‘25 won fifth place speaker in the junior varsity division after all debaters had a great tournament in the frigid temperatures of Ann Arbour. Additionally, Ella Filler ‘25 and Alejandra Martinez Fraga ‘25 had a superb weekend at the Stanford University tournament that was hosted virtually. They reached the quarterfinals after an incredible streak of wins in the pre-elimination rounds. At this same tournament, Evangelina Tapanes ‘25 was awarded 11th place speaker after a great tournament with her partner Luciana Lee ‘25. 

 The juniors and seniors of the varsity squad also had a season worth remembering. At the Trevian Invitational tournament in Chicago, the team of Lauren Nieto ‘24 and Saramelia Lopez ‘24 reached double-octafinals (in the top 32 teams at the tournament) and the team of Daniella Roos ‘24 and Sofia Casado ‘23 made it all the way to the quarter finals after debating some of the top teams in the United States. Then, Nieto and Barrera partnered for the Michigan State University Spartan Classic where they won almost all of their debates and made it to the finals, in addition to being first and second place overall speakers. 

In January, Roos and Nieto traveled to Nashville, Tennessee and competed at the Montgomery Bell Academy Southern Bell Forum where they defeated an intense pool of talented debaters to reach the quarter finals. Nieto received 17th place speaker at this tournament as well, which is regarded as one of the most difficult tournaments on the high school circuit. Furthermore, Nieto and Roos also qualified for the quarter finals at the Stanford tournament in the varsity division. Most recently at the Tournament of Champions Digital Series Two Tournament, the pairings of Lopez with Casado and Roos with Nieto made it to the octofinals. Here, Roos and Nieto were third and fourth place speakers. 

After this action-packed debate season, debaters have learned a multitude of lessons and traveled all over the country, and the season is not even over yet. Two tournaments remain this year where the team will no doubt have great performances.