Debate season starts with success


Liz Yount ’17 speaks during a World Schools debate at the Greenhill Fall Classic as teammates Aidan Luscinski ’17 and Alec Winshel ’16 listen. The team took second place at the tournament.

Sabrina de Brito

Cameron Cohen ’16 won first place overall at the Greenhill Fall Classic in Dallas Sept. 19-21 a week after he and Nick Steele ’16 closed out the Loyola Invitational as co-champions.

This was the first time a Harvard-Westlake debater won the Greenill event, a tournament attended by most top debaters in the country. Evan Engel ’17 won eleventh place speaker, Steele won fourth place speaker and Cohen took second place.

The World Schools team, consisting of Liz Yount ’17, Alec Winshel ’16 and Aidan Luscinski ’17 placed second at the Greenhill Fall Classic.

Winshel also received the third place speaker award in the World Schools division.

Lauren Morganbesser ’19 made it to octafinals in the varsity division at the Holy Cross tournament. Connor Engel ’17, who was a finalist in the tournament’s round robin, was undefeated in preliminary rounds and made it to semi-finals.

Evan Engel made it to finals and received his first-ever bid, one of the two required to go to the the most prestigious tournament of the year, the Tournament of Champions, in the spring of 2016.

Both Steele and Cohen have already qualified to go to the Tournament of Champions.

They received their first required bids at the Loyola tournament by reaching the semifinals and then their second bids at the Greenhill tournament after reaching the octafinals.

“It feels super awesome to start the season strong with big wins and to be qualified to the national championship early and we’re really looking forward to what we can do with the rest of the season,” Cohen said.

Indu Pandey ’18 cleared to elimination rounds at the Yale University Invitational Tournament on Sept. 18-20.

After enduring a three-step intensive application process, Yount and eight other high school students from across the country were named to the 2015-2016 USA Debate team.

“I’m super excited to get to know [my teammates] better and learn their different approaches towards debate, since every part of the country has a different style,” Yount said. “We’re also coming from different backgrounds; some of us do Lincoln-Douglas and others do Policy or Public Form, so combining all of our different skill sets should make for a really diverse and skilled group of people.”

Yount trained with Team USA last week in preparation for the Holy Cross Navy and Old Gold Debate and Speech Exhibition in Louisiana Friday through Sunday.

The Harvard-Westlake World Schools Debate Team competed in the same tournament, and Yount received third-place speaker as a member of Team USA.

“Her placement on the USA Worlds Schools Debate team not only continues the tradition of having a Harvard Westlake member on the team, but more importantly is a signifier of her hard work,” upper school debate coach Shania Hunt said.