The Mountain View-Los Altos Speech and Debate Team will send 44 percent of its members to compete in the annual California High School Speech Association Tournament to be held Thursday through Sunday at Diablo Valley College in Diablo Valley. With four out of nine team members winning slots in the final competition, the team has the highest winning percentage in the Coast Forensic League.
The MVLA Speech and Debate Team is unique among the district's extracurricular activities in including students from both high schools. Dawn Maxey, a senior, and Prashant Rai, a sophomore, both Los Altos residents who attend Mountain View High School, will compete as a duo in the Interpretive Speech category. Laurel Lathrop, a senior at Los Altos High School and a Los Altos resident, will compete in the Original Oratory Speech event. Shruti Dave, a senior at Los Altos High School and a Mountain View resident, will compete in the Impromptu Speech event.
The students participating in the state competition were selected after winning the top places at the Coast Forensic League qualifying tournament, held late last month at Leland High School in south San Jose. Only the league's four best students in each event are invited to the state tournament.
Lathrop, who will attend Princeton next year, won first place in her event at the league's qualifying tournament and is expected to do well at Diablo Valley. She also has been invited to compete in the National Forensic League Tournament in June in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Coast Forensic League comprises high school teams from Cupertino, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Jose and Sunnyvale. The league is one of the most competitive in the nation - both the Bellarmine and Leland High school teams have won national titles in the past five years.