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New York Dominates Harvard High School Policy Debate Tournament

On February 15-17, the Harvard Debate Council hosted the largest forensic invitational tournament in the world.  Four thousand fourteen contests from 356 schools from the US, China, and Korea competed in the three day event.

Debate teams from the state of New York dominated in the policy debate event.

Varsity Policy Debate

138 two-person teams from 53 schools representing 21 states competed in the varsity policy debate event.  Seven of those fifty-three schools were from the state of New York.

After 7 preliminary debates, the top thirty two teams advanced to the double-octofinals (top 32) elimination round.  Six of the thirty two teams were from the state of NY, with ACORN, Bronx Law, Bronx Science, Lakeland District, and Stuyvesant advancing teams to the round of 32.

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In this first elimination round, ACORN, Bronx Science, and Lakeland were defeated, but Bronx Law and Stuyvesant advanced.

Stuyvesant prepares for the octofinals
Stuyvesant prepares for the octofinals

In the second elimination debate (top 16), Stuyvesant was defeated by Westminster (GA) and Bronx Law defeated The Blake School (MN).

In the third elimination debate (top 8), Bronx Law defeated Pace Academy (GA) – the recent winners of the prestigious Emory University invitational.

Bronx Law prepares for their debate.
Bronx Law prepares for their debate.

In the fourth elimination debate (top 5), Bronx Law was defeated by Stratford Academy on a 2-1 decision.  Stratford went on to win the tournament in the finals against The Greenhill School.  They also recently won the Harvard high school round robin and were the runners-up at Emory.

The tournament also rates individual speakers and there were 276 individual speakers in the tournament.  New York also did well in this category, with five students from New York making the top 50.

4th Speaker — Anastasia Kazteridis, Bronx Science

5th Speaker — Abla Belhachmi, Bronx Science
30th Speaker – Ezra Louvis, Stuyvesant
31st Speaker – Anderson Tyler, ACORN
39th Speaker — Ajay Mayar, Bronx Science

Junior Varsity Policy Debate

134 two person teams representing 48 schools from 32 states competed in the Junior Varsity policy division.

After 6 preliminary debates, the top thirty two teams advanced to the double-octofinals (top 32) elimination round.   Three of the thirty-two teams were from the state of NY, with Agape Leaders Prep, Brooklyn Tech, and Lakeland District advancing teams to the round of 32.

Agape Leaders and Brooklyn Tech were defeated in the first elimination debate, but Lakeland District advanced to the octofinals (top 16).  In the Octofinals they defeated Marriotts Ridge (MD).

In the quarterfinals (top 8), Lakeland was defeated by the #1 seed – Pace Academy – who went on to win the tournament.

Priten Shah helps Akshway Ramaswamy prepare for his quarterfinal debate
Priten Shah helps Akshway Ramaswamy prepare for his quarterfinal debate
James and Akshay debate in the quarterfinals.
James and Akshay debate in the quarterfinals.

The tournament also rates individual speakers and there were 276 individual speakers in the tournament.  New York also did well in this category, with nine students from New York making the top 50.

3rd Speaker — Adam Pahlavan, Agape Leaders Prep
10th Speaker — Jason Han, Stuyvesant
20th Speaker — Imen Boussayoud, Brooklyn Tech
31st Speaker — Akshay Ramaswamy, Lakeland District
34th Speaker – James Allen, Lakeland District
37th Speaker — Princess Adeyinka, Brooklyn Tech
42nd Speaker — Diana Kim, Agape Leaders Prep

46th  Speaker — Zareb Noel, Brooklyn Tech