Junior goes undefeated in debate tournament

Julia Asin, Author

Palo Alto High School junior Anna Lu (center) won the Saint Francis High School debate tournament this weekend. Lu and the second and third speakers received medical kits for trophies as a play on their debate topic of organ procurement. “What was really interesting about the tournament was that they didn't give us trophies for speaker awards, but gave us medical kits instead since the topic was about organ procurement,” Lu said. Photo courtesy of Anna Lu.
Palo Alto High School junior Anna Lu (center) won the Saint Francis High School debate tournament this weekend. Lu and the second and third speakers received medical kits for trophies as a play on their debate topic of organ procurement. “What was really interesting about the tournament was that they didn’t give us trophies for speaker awards, but gave us medical kits instead since the topic was about organ procurement,” Lu said. Photo by Sakthi Swamy.

A Palo Alto High School junior is celebrating the start of the debate season after going undefeated at the Saint Francis High School debate tournament this weekend, going 6-0 through the preliminary rounds and 3-0 in the final round.

Junior Anna Lu came in first overall, and juniors Anna Nakai and Gabi Rossner made it to the quarterfinals.

According to Lu, Paly has a history of success at the St. Francis tournament. Senior Noah Hashmi made it to the final rounds last year and current debate coach Alex Carter of the Class of 2012 won it his junior year.

“I definitely could not have won without the help of our coach Matt DeLateur,” Lu said.  “He helped me a lot in adapting to parent judges and making my arguments sound more persuasive, so I’m really grateful to be able to work with him as well as all of the other phenomenal coaches on our team.”

The topic of the debate was organ procurement from the deceased.

“We debated about whether or not the government and society should assume that individuals want to donate their organs after they die,” Lu said.

Lu was sick for most of the tournament and had to sleep in between rounds. Despite this, she was the only competitor to go undefeated.

“When I saw that my name was first on the list and that I was the only undefeated debater, I honestly could not believe that it was true,” Lu said. “That was by far my favorite moment during the tournament.”

This was the first major tournament of the debate season and Lu’s second major victory, having gone undefeated at the Coastal Forensics League 3 tournament last year.

“I think my biggest takeaway from this tournament is an increased confidence in my debating ability,” Lu said. “I was definitely an underdog sophomore year, as most sophomores are, so now I feel like I have to ability to compete against the best of the best.”

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