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Paly debaters win big at CFL tournament

Benjamin Huang and Eddie Wang

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The Palo Alto High School speech and debate team poses for a photo. 4 members of the team went undefeated, guaranteeing them a spot at the state qualifying tournament. "I think a big part of our team is the camaraderie we have formed when we work together,” sophomore Kai Vetteth said.

The Palo Alto High School speech and debate team poses for a photo on June 28th after the Stephen Stewart Invitational at Milpitas High School. Four members of the team went undefeated at the CFL debate tournament last Saturday, guaranteeing them a spot at the state qualifying tournament. “I think a big part of our team is the camaraderie we have formed when we work together,” sophomore Kai Vetteth said. Photo: Daniel Nguyen

Four members of Palo Alto High School’s Speech and Debate team won guaranteed spots at the state qualifier tournament by defeating four opponents each at the Coast Forensic League debate tournament last Saturday at Los Gatos High School.

Juniors Josh Singh, Ashley Hitchings, Ria Vora, and sophomore Kai Vetteth all took home four wins in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, a style of debate where two opponents, one pro and one con.

“It obviously feels great to do well at any tournament, but it’s also nice to see some of our first year debaters competing” Vetteth said. “I’m looking forward to the next couple of tournaments.”

Singh, Hitchings, Vora, and Vetteth each received a “wildcard”  for being undefeated, allowing them a guaranteed spot at the state qualifier tournament on March 9.

Freshman Justin Qiu, sophomores Christine Tu, Neil Kapoor, and Joshua Athayde, and junior Nisha McNealis also racked up three wins each at the debate.

According to Singh, the speech and debate team’s success at the tournament is reflective of its overall performance.

“The team is doing amazing, at the past three CFLs we have consistently gotten the top wild card earners,” Singh said. “At the last league tournament I think we got four of the eight wildcards…this is one of the best leagues in the country, and Paly’s crushing, Paly’s doing really well.”

The CFL, according to its website, is a division of the California High School Speech Association that includes 37 high schools in the counties of Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

Singh said that he was excited to go to the state qualifier tournament, and hopefully the state championship.

“This year I think it’s going to work out,” Singh said. “I think I’m going to go to states.” 

 

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