Debate Notches Record-Breaking Final Weekend

The Greenhill Debate Team finished their regular season in spectacular fashion over the weekend winning three tournament championships and bringing home 11 awards.
 
The team traveled to Cambridge, Mass., for the Harvard Round Robin and Harvard Invitational Tournaments. At the Round Robin, Policy Debate seniors Lyall Stuart and Azhar Unwala finished with a perfect 6-0 record and completed the tournament championship by beating a team from Woodward Academy in the Finals.
 
At the Harvard Invitational Tournament - one of the largest and most competitive in the United States - Stuart and Unwala outlasted over 140 teams from around the country to capture the tournament championship. Stuart and Unwala became only the third team EVER to win both the Invitational and Round Robin. Juniors Ben Packer and Andrew Spomer finished in ninth place while senior Sankalp Banerjee and junior Meg Ranganathan finished the Invitational in 17th place. In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, senior Farhan Damani competed against over 300 debaters from around the country and finished in fifth place while junior Rebecca Kuang finished 33rd.
 
While the Round Robin final round was taking place, juniors Packer and Spomer were completing their final round from the Bronx High School of Science Invitational Tournament, held earlier in the season, but was delayed due to travel complications. Packer and Spomer bested a team from Centennial High School in Baltimore to finish off the tournament championship. Junior Rebecca Kuang finished second at the Round Robin in her division in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and was the fourth best speaker overall among some of the best Lincoln-Douglas debaters in the country.
 
Debate Duo has Historic Season
Seniors Lyall Stuart and Azhar Unwala have quietly accomplished one of the most successful seasons in the national history of high school speech and debate. The national circuit of high school debate deems several tournaments as “majors” based on their status resulting from the number of teams, diversity of states attending, and quality of competition.
 
To put their success into context, there are nine potential “octofinal” bid qualifiers for the National Tournament of Champions held at the University of Kentucky in late April. Of those nine, one is the Greenhill Fall Classic in which they are not able to compete, one is the California Berkeley tournament that is held on the same weekend as Harvard, and one is the University of Michigan tournament in which Greenhill has not competed in recent years.
 
Of the six remaining events, Stuart and Unwala have won FOUR major invitationals, The Glenbrooks (Chicago), The Blake School (Minneapolis), Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville) and Harvard Invitational (Cambridge). Of the two remaining octofinal tournaments in which they competed, they reached the semifinals (St. Marks School of Texas) and the quarterfinals (Emory University). To help put this into context, only ONE other team in the known history of high school debate has won four major Invitationals in one school year.
 
Stuart and Unwala have also claimed the championship of the Northwestern University Round Robin and Harvard Round Robin. In Round Robin competitions, the host invites what they believe the best teams in the nation are to compete in head-to-head competition. At these events, competing against the best and brightest students in the United States, Stuart and Unwala are not only undefeated, they haven’t lost a single judges BALLOT. At the Greenhill Round Robin, they lost the championship on a highly-contested split decision.
 
Overall, the duo has been in nine final rounds in the 2011-12 competitive season. As a result of their success this season, they are the top-ranked policy debate duo in the United States. Based on their results, they are anticipated to be named the David P. Baker award winners for season long excellence at the National Debate Coaches Association Championships in April.
 
Stuart and Unwala, along with the rest of the team, are not resting on their laurels and are working hard to put themselves in a position where the “post-season” will go as well as the regular season has.
 
The team is coached by Aaron Timmons and Eric Forslund.
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Greenhill School
A coed independent day school for pre-kindergarten – Grade 12