Westfield/Watkinson LM wins the Yale Invitational

63 teams – grouped together to form a competitive open division – gathered in New Haven on September 15th to compete in the annual Yale Invitational’s parliamentary debate division. With competitors from Connecticut, New York, and California, as well as six teams from Canada, the tournament’s rounds were organized into two flights for the five preliminary rounds.

The final round that was presented by Westfield/Watkinson’s Ryan Lafferty & Benjamin Mione and a team from California, Menlo-Atherton’s Sathvik Nori & Maya Bodnick. Lafferty & Mione ultimately won the round on a 2-1 decision, affirming the resolution that “This house, as a high ranking governmental official, would resign in protest rather than stay and fight in the current administration.” On the negation, Nori & Bodnick argued that working on the inside of the administration allowed for more substantial change, and the possibility of pursuing impeachment.

Meili and Anjali Gupta of Phillips Exeter’s Gupta & Gupta won first and second place speaker overall—especially impressive given that Phillips Exeter had never before sent parliamentary teams to this tournament.

Topics varied widely throughout the nine-hour day, and addressed the criminal justice system, foreign policy, economic legislation, political eligibility, and technology. Resolutions of note included “This House would not allow out of court settlements for workplace discrimination and/or harassment”, “This House would require all politicians to publicly retract false or misleading statements”, and “This House believes that the largest Internet firms should be broken up.”

Though the number of registered teams dropped about 20% from last year’s 80 teams – partially due to a significant decrease in teams traveling from the West Coast – the field remained competitive, with only two teams managing to go undefeated throughout prelims.

All 16 teams that broke to octofinals on the second day of the tournament had at least a 4-1 record from their preliminary rounds— a stark contrast to previous years, when several 3-2 teams made it to debate the next day.


Ridge Kevin Tang & Tanvi Namjoshi def. Shepaug Valley Wilson King & Bridget Snyder (2-1)

Phillips Exeter Anjali Gupta & Meili Gupta def. Unionville Manav Gundecha & Daisy Qiu (3-0)

Westfield/Watkinson Patrick Henderson & Benjamin Small def. Stuyvesant Jessica Gruboy & Ayako Gatheral (2-1)

Westfield/Watkinson Ryan Lafferty & Benjamin Mione def. Vincent Massey Collegiate Massimo Di Lullo & Zoe Heffring (2-1)

Menlo-Atherton Sathvik Nori & Maya Bodnick def. Stuyvesant Ruby Huang & Oscar Dorr (2-1)

Saint Luke’s Ruth Mercedes & Laura Mercedes def. Saint Luke’s Marco Volpitta & Amelie Warneryd (n/a)

Horace Mann Julia Robbins & Amman Kajela def. AITE Arya Bhogte & Julia Kempton (3-0)

Amity Ariba Chaudhry & Tracy Lu def. Valley Katie Morrissey & Egan Rothrock (n/a)


Menlo-Atherton Nori & Bodnick def. Ridge Tang & Namjoshi (2-1)

Amity Ariba Chaudhry & Lu def. Phillips Exeter Gupta & Gupta (2-1)

Saint Luke’s Mercedes & Mercedes def. Westfield/Watkinson Henderson & Small (2-1)

Westfield/Watkinson Lafferty & Mione def. Horace Mann Robbins & Kajela (2-1)


Menlo-Atherton NB def. Saint Luke’s MM (2-1)

Westfield/Watkinson LM def. Amity CL (3-0)


Westfield/Watkinson LM def. Menlo-Atherton NB (2-1)