HARRISON, N.Y. - Harrison High School sophomore Danny DeBois became the school's first student to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, a post-season national championship held in Kentucky.
DeBois is credited for much of the Harrison High School debate team's success in recent competitions, said advisor Chetan Hertzig.
"It is almost unprecedented for a sophomore to achieve such outstanding success on the national circuit," said Hertzig. "We are excited to see him continue growing over the next couple of years."
The team earned wins in both the varsity and novice divisions of a competitive weekend regional tournament at Hendrick Hudson. Students must earn two qualifying bids for a spot at the Tournament of Champions.
DeBois earned his second bid after he was named varsity co-champion of the Hendrick Hudson tournament last weekend, winning every round. He earned his first bid in early November at a national tournament in Minnesota, where he made the top-16 before losing a close debate in the next round.
Teammate and Harrison senior Ally Brabant was also one bid away from earning a spot in the Kentucky tournament with the top 70 debaters in the country. She reached the semifinal round, only to be paired against teammate DeBois. While DeBois advanced to the final round because he was the higher seed, Brabant finished the competition with a 7-1 record and was named the second place speaker.
In the novice division, freshman Kiana Comizio was named tournament champion among 60 competitors with an 8-0 record. She also placed second in a tournament earlier this month at Monticello high School and seventh in her first tournament at Bronx High School of Science.
Other students also had impressive showings at this event, including senior Christina Loguidice, who reached the top-16 and cleared to elimination rounds with a 5-1 record.
Juniors PattyJane Geller and Hayley Kronthal also had strong performances, finishing with 3-3 records. In the novice division, freshmen Erica LaManna placed fourth and Michael Scoli placed seventh in the field.
"This was a very exciting weekend for all who competed, and we look forward to our next tournament at Princeton in December," said Hertzig.
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