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Debate captain eyes national championship

Published January 8, 2014

After an impressive fall season, the Palo Alto High School debate team captain had already earned three bids to April’s prestigious Tournament of Champions, the premier stage for national high school debate. However, senior Travis Chen apparently has no plans to take his second semester lightly judging by his impressive win at the Victory Briefs Tournament, held over the first weekend of January in Los Angeles.

Travis Chen won the tournament with 3-0 decisions from the judges for all elimination rounds, excluding one 3-1 decision in the semifinal round.

“I was pretty happy with my performance at the tournament,” Chen said. “I definitely did better than I expected and it gave me more confidence in my abilities.”

Speech and Debate director Jennie Savage praised Chen’s victory.

“I’m incredibly proud, he has set such excellent standards for the team,” Savage said.

Savage also complimented Chen on his significant contributions as a captain of the team.

“Travis lights up every room he is in,” Savage said. “As a player, his intellect is brilliant. But also as a person, he has a huge amount of integrity and humility that contributes to the team.”

As a senior and a captain of the Speech and Debate team, Chen hopes to leave a legacy of success for his younger teammates.

“I was really excited to see a lot of younger debaters on our team working really hard and demonstrating a lot of potential,” Chen said. “I really hope they can continue killing it at tournaments next year.”

Chen aspires to succeed in upcoming tournaments, including the Tournament of Champions, the most prestigious tournament of the national circuit, in late April.

“I hope to sharpen my skills more at my next few tournaments and debate well against other strong debaters from other schools,” Chen said.


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