First Paly vs. Gunn night rally debuts, ASB looks to start tradition

    Paly dance team members (left to right) junior Nathalia Castillo, senior Melanie Guan and senior Emma Sternfield perform in a collaboration between the Paly and Gunn dance teams at the first ever Paly vs. Gunn night rally on Thursday at Gunn. Photo by Emma van der Veen.

    Palo Alto High School dance team members (left to right) junior Nathalia Castillo, seniors Melanie Guan and Emma Sternfield perform in a collaboration with the Paly and Gunn High School dance teams at the first ever Paly vs. Gunn night rally on Thursday at Gunn. Photo by Emma van der Veen.

    The Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body and Gunn High School Student Executive Council are looking forward to making the Paly vs. Gunn night rally an annual tradition after the inaugural event on Thursday at the Titan Gym.

    According to Paly Student Activities Director Matt Hall, the event was a success, especially considering all other concurrent events at both schools.

    “It was just about what we wanted,” Hall said. “Certainly, we would have liked better attendance, but it was solid for a first time [rally], on a Thursday, with 14 different other events happening at both schools. We have started a new tradition, and next year it will be even better.”

    The rally events included an obstacle course competition and a staff versus student volleyball game. There were also performances by the Gunn dance team, Gunn cheer team, Paly dance and cheer teams and a collaboration dance.

    “The obstacle course was the most hyped up and people were shouting and screaming,” senior ASB Secretary Joseph Kao said.

    Junior Skylar Burris attempts to eat a donut in the obstacle course competition as part of the Paly upperclassmen team. Photo by Emma van der Veen.

    Junior Skylar Burris attempts to eat a donut in the obstacle course competition as part of the Paly upperclassmen team. Photo by Emma van der Veen.

    In the obstacle course, the schools were divided into four teams: the upper and underclassmen of each school. Paly underclassmen won first place, followed by Gunn upperclassmen, Paly upperclassmen and Gunn underclassmen. The course consisted of tag team action in separate sections: the egg carry, toilet paper unroll, frisbee throw, 3-point contest, donut-on-a-string eating and the 3-legged race. According to junior Peter Snodgrass, who participated in the frisbee portion of the Paly upperclassmen team, the Vikings faced some challenges in the first rounds, but adapted later on.

    “We had a rough start, but we pushed through the adversity that we faced,” Snodgrass said. “We came together as a team and got the job done and did very well.”

    According to senior Gunn SEC member Grace Park, the student versus staff volleyball game united the students across the district, despite the students losing the game 15-13.

    “Next year we’re going to do a lot more to hype it up,” Park said. “Having Paly here and all of the staff, there was a huge motivation to show come out and unite, especially in the common goal [of Paly and Gunn] to beat the staff.”

    Junior Class Vice President Natalie Maloney is excited at the prospect of future joint rallies with a greater amount of participation.

    “We [Paly ASB and Gunn SEC] were super excited to host the first ever Gunn-Paly rally,” Maloney said. “It was a lot of fun. I was hoping that more people would show up, but I understand that people had tests and homework they had to do. Next year, we will hopefully have it on a Friday night so we can get a better turnout.”

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