Juniors triumph at debate tournament

Nika Woodfill, Author

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Adding to the success of the Palo Alto High School Speech and Debate team’s season so far, two Paly juniors won impressive victories at the Coast Forensic League Tournament, which took place at South San Francisco High School last weekend.

Junior Jenny Xin celebrates after going undefeated at the Coast Forensic League Tournament at South San Francisco High School this weekend. Photo by Anna Nakai.

Junior Jenny Xin celebrates after going undefeated at the Coast Forensic League Tournament at South San Francisco High School last weekend. Photo courtesy of Anna Nakai.

Junior Gabi Rossner participated in the Congress debate competition, placing first in the Congress division. Junior Jenny Xin only participated in the Lincoln-Douglas debate division but went undefeated.

As Rossner’s first time competing in the Congress division, she did not expect to win.

“I was in a chamber with a lot of advanced people, so I was really nervous,” Rossner said. “I had so much fun though, and winning was a pleasant surprise”.

Xin won all four rounds of her debates, which guaranteed her a spot at State Qualifications as her success at the tournament granted her a wildcard. According to Xin, the card not only grants her a place but also does not take away any of the allotted spots for the school.

Xin will continue to work hard in preparing for the upcoming tournament.

“I’ll keep reviewing my past rounds and trying to improve my speaking style and arguments,” Xin said.

Speech and Debate team director Jennie Savage praised both Rossner’s and Xin’s accomplishments.

“What is remarkable about Jenny and Gabi is that their exceptional talents are not limited to particular categories,” Savage said. “To be able to do communicate perfectly across both intellectual and creative platforms is rare.”

Previously in the season at the University of Pacific tournament in October, Xin won first place in the Original Prose and Poetry speech competition with her stand-up comedy piece, and Rossner placed third with a comedic musical.

The next debate tournament will be the The Harker Upper School Invitational, which will take place this weekend in San Jose.