The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Debate team takes on qualifying tournament

The Palo Alto High School debate team is competing this weekend in the National Qualifier Tournament that will select debaters to attend nationals in June.

The debate team has enjoyed mixed success lately in the State Qualifier and Western Championship tournaments, which are in separate leagues from nationals and do not determine qualification for nationals.

Although this year was the first in some time that Paly will not be sending a debater to the California High School Speech Association State Tournament, the team did relatively well in the State Qualifier, according to sophomore debater Noah Hashmi.

“Although our team did not send someone to States this year, our performance at State Quals was still successful since most of our debaters ended up with winning records at the tournament, which is one of the hardest [tournaments] of the year,” Hashmi said.

Junior Travis Chen added that the large number of winning records at State Quals is especially significant due to the fact that most of those debaters are sophomores, indicating a strong future for the debate team.

According to Chen and Hashmi, Freshman Gabi Rossner’s strong performance at the Western Championship Tournament — a tournament for Novice debaters that occurred two weekends ago — is a good indicator of a promising high school debate career.

“Gabi did very well at the tournament even against some more experienced sophomore debaters,” Chen said.”She definitely has a lot in store for her.”

Chen is optimistic about the National Qualifier Tournament.

“Nat Quals has historically been one of the hardest tournaments, particularly in our district, which includes many tough rival schools such as Bellarmine and Leland,” Chen said. “However, I think we have a pretty good chance of doing well, as Noah [Hashmi], Kevin [Zhang] and Addie [McNamara] are all excellent debaters capable of beating some of the very best debaters in our league.”

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