Jackson Speech and Debate team looks sharp in Casper

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team continued to impress in its 2018-19 season. The team earned 2nd place in 3A at the Mustang Classic, held at Natrona County High School in Casper February 1-2.

Thirty-one schools competed at the meet with close to 800 total entries. Worland captured the 1st place finish, but Jackson edged out Rawlins and Riverton who finished in 3rd and 4th place respectively.

More hardware for the trophy. case. (Courtesy)

This meet is a precursor to the State meet next month, with nearly all Wyoming programs competing in Casper along with several South Dakota schools. The team is coached by Londe and Peggy Gagnon.

Senior and team captain, Samantha Smith teamed with junior Warren Levy to bring home 5th place in Public Forum Debate, an event with 58 total entries. The team explored the issue of whether or not the United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Levy also performed well in Extemporaneous Speaking where he reached quarter-finals in the event that had 74 entries. Smith reached semi-finals in Informative Speaking with her presentation on the media.

Freshman Anna Revill placed 3rd in the Senate category of Congressional Debate. Freshman William Aepli placed second in the House category of the same event. This marks the second week in a row the two have placed in the top 8 of the event.

Freshman Virginia Girling reached the final round in the House category of the event as well. Senior and team captain, Leila Sandlin did very well in Poetry Interpretation by reaching quarter finals in the event that saw 90 total entries.

“It was a really great meet for the team to learn from some of the best competitors in the region. We are excited to continue working hard and refining our skills for State and Districts,” Girling said.

Coach Londe Gagnon commented on the weekend, saying, “Students needed to be near perfect in preliminary rounds to advance.  The scores many of our team earned would have advanced them to culminating rounds at any other tournament of the season.”

The team next travels to Worland in two weeks. In addition, they will be hosting their own invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb 8-9.  For the home tournament, the Speech Team needs 135 more volunteers to judge for approximately an hour and a half each.  Judging guidelines will be provided a practice judging session will be offered on Tuesday Feb 5. Judging experience is not required.

Events include Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Big Questions, Extemporaneous and Cross Examination Debate, Student Congress, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Humor, Drama, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Impromptu, and Duet. Judging these talented high school competitors is an entertaining and rewarding experience. Refreshments and free babysitting will be provided.

Volunteers are needed anytime from 7:30pm Friday evening until 9:00pm Friday, or on Saturday from 7:30am until 3:00pm. Please email coach Londe Gagnon or call her at 307-699-0537.


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