Debaters to attend state qualifications tournament

Aidan Maese-Czeropski, Author

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Sophomore Candace Wang shows off her medal won at the Coast Forensic League debate tournament. Photo by Aidan Maese-Czeropski.

Two Palo Alto High School debaters went undefeated in a debate tournament at Monta Vista High School last Saturday, guaranteeing them the opportunity to compete in California’s State Qualifications tournament.

Senior Noah Hashmi and sophomore Candace Wang stood victorious after winning all four rounds of debate at California’s Coast Forensic League, one of two speech and debate leagues in the Bay Area.

According to Hashmi, intensive preparation was necessary for the event.

“Preparation for the tournament was intense because some of the best debate powerhouses in the Bay Area, like Bellarmine and Leland, were also at the tournament,” Hashmi said. “However, the topic was actually the same as many of the tournaments first semester … making the preparation for this specific tournament somewhat easier because I already had a good grasp on the topic.”

According to Paly debate coach Jennie Savage, receiving a wildcard is no easy feat.

“It’s exceptionally difficult to qualify to the State Championship tournament,” Savage said. “We get very few slots to even debate at the tournament to qualify — only the very best debaters are selected to attend and go head-to-head against the other best debaters.”

Wang is looking forward to joining junior Jenny Xin, who received a wildcard in late 2014, at State Qualifications.

“I’m so excited that I get a chance to go [to State Qualifications],” Wang said. “Being able to go to State Quals is a testament to your ability, but advancing is an even greater achievement.”

The State Qualifications debate tournament will be held on March 6 and 7 at Westmont High School in Campbell.