East Mountain High hosted its 7th annual Top of the World speech and debate tournament last Saturday.

The tournament, which in years past had been a two-day event, has been condensed to a one-day tournament “to get more rounds in and make it a less-stressful affair,” said East Mountain’s speech and debate coach Trey Smith, who organized the tournament.

Approximately 150 competitors from 14 schools participated in the event. More than 50 volunteers, many of them EMHS alumni or parents of East Mountain students, served as judges for the various competitions.

Being the host school, East Mountain students didn’t participate but helped with organizational tasks.

The top performing high schools were Los Alamos, La Cueva, Albuquerque Academy, Rio Grande, and Desert Academy.

“It was great to have new schools attend like Navajo Prep and New Mexico School for the Arts,” said Smith.
Smith said speech and debate as a whole continues to gain popularity in New Mexico, adding, “We love that East Mountain High School has become a catalyst for speech and debate growth in the state.”

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.