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Harrison High Debate Team Off To A Stellar Start

The Harrison High School debate team. Photo Credit: Contributed
Harrison High School debate students with their adviser Chetan Hertzig. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. -- The Harrison High School Debate team is off to an excellent start with strong showings at the Greenhill School’s national championship tournament in Texas and at the recent Yale University Championship event.

Two of Harrison’s debaters, senior Amy Geller and junior Kathryn Kenny, received their first bid -- or half of the qualifications -- toward the national Tournament of Champions, the most prestigious debate event in the country.

Greenhill featured 104 Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debaters from around the country. The tournament only allows a maximum of three entries per school and all competitors were top-level national circuit talent. Senior Amy Geller reached the top 16, receiving her first bid to the tournament.

“She defeated several of the most accomplished debaters in the country and received perfect  speaker points in her final preliminary round,” said  Harrison High Debate Team adviser Chetan Hertzig. “Amy’s achievement is the first of many to come this year.”

Also competing at Greenhill were Harrison High School juniors Sarah Ryan, who had an excellent 4-2 record in preliminary rounds and narrowly missed reaching elimination rounds based on speaker points, and junior Elyssa Alfieri, who had a highly respectable 3-3 record against stiff competition.

Junior Kathryn Kenny reached the quarterfinal (top eight) at the Yale University tournament and secured  her first bid to the tournament.

Among the 164 varsity debaters, junior Ella Eisinger reached the top 16 after winning her triple and double rounds. In the JV division that contained 100 debaters from across the country, sophomore Sammi O’Reilly reached the semifinal (top four) and was named the JV tournament’s top speaker.

Sophomores Madeline Rawson and Adam Eljamal, along with Amr El-Azizi, reached the top 32round and Adam was named the tournament’s 4th speaker. Junior Evan Burger and sophomores Matt Zinman, Raffi Piliero, and Jack Wilson also had respectable showings in this difficult field.

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