The Palo Alto Speech and Debate Team performed exceptionally and made history at the Santa Clara Philalethic Invitational tournament this past month.
Junior Anna Lu competed in the varsity division of the January/February topic and co-championed at the Santa Clara Philalethic Invitational tournament with fellow junior Anna Nakai, while freshmen Barry He and Nikolas Risano co-championed in the novice division of the January/February topic.
Other honorable mentions include junior Carissa Zou, who made it to the semifinals, and sophomore Timothy Liu, who made it to quarterfinals in the varsity division of the January/February topic. Junior Eric Foster made it to semifinals and sophomore Ethan Teo made it to quarterfinals in the varsity division of the March/April topic.
Liu said that the January/February topic revolved around Living Wage, while the March/April topic was on Food Security.
“The topic was ‘Just governments ought to require employers pay a living wage,’” Liu said. “It is an interesting topic, because although on the surface it seems rather logical that it must be good since it provides people with money, there are a variety of issues that can arise from the Living Wage, such as unemployment.”
According to Lu, this tournament marked the first time in over 20 years that four Paly debaters have ever co-championed both the varsity and novice divisions of a tournament.
“I think that our success at this last tournament is a testament to the amount of potential we have for next year, especially among the current freshmen,” Teo said. “Paly has never done so well at this tournament before, so next year is a season to really look forward to.”
Paly Speech and Debate coach Jennie Savage said that the team was over half the pool in octafinals, which is completely unheard of in a tournament that is so large.
“It was a fantastic regular season closer for our team — the speech squad and the debate squad did exceptionally well there,” Savage said.