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Harrison High Debate Team On Winning Streak

The Harrison High School Debate Team.
The Harrison High School Debate Team. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. – The Harrison High School Debate Team is on a winning streak, having won seven titles, three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes in some of the most competitive regional and national tournaments in the U.S.

At the Ridge Invitational in New Jersey in December, senior Amy Geller was named co-champion of the tournament, while three other Harrison debaters finished in the top 32.

At the Regis High School Christmas Classic in New York City, freshman Carl Spana was undefeated and took first place in the novice division, freshman Lauren Cole won second place and sophomore Leslie An finished in fourth place.

In early January, junior Kathryn Kenny won the varsity division of the national Newark Invitational tournament and in the novice division of the same tournament, freshman Brian Siegel placed second and Carl Spana placed third. It was the first time a member of the Harrison debate team won the Newark Invitational in either Lincoln Douglas division.

A total of eight Harrison students reached elimination rounds at Newark – Geller and sophomore Adam Eljamal reached the quarterfinals and junior Elyssa Alfieri and sophomores Matt Zinman and Sammi O’Reilly reached the top 16.

Sophomore Raffi Piliero and junior Sarah Ryan finished in the top 24. In mid-January, freshman Spana won the Lexington Winter Invitational in Massachusetts in the novice division. Spana is the fifth consecutive Harrison novice to reach the final round of Lexington.

The Harrison team swept the Byram Hills 2015 Bobcat Classic held in January. Harrison took the top eight spots in the varsity division, closing out the quarterfinal round. Sophomore Eljamal won the tournament and was named the top speaker, and sophomore Piliero was the tournament runner-up and was named the second speaker. Spana was named the top novice of the tournament and was cleared to varsity elimination rounds. In the same weekend, Kenny competed at the Derby City Invitational and the Derby City Round Robin in Louisville, Kentucky, and won both the round robin event and the invitational event, in which she had an undefeated record.

The Harrison debate team will next compete at the Scarsdale High School tournament followed by the Harvard University National Championship.

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