JHHS Speech and Debate Team takes second at tournament

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team found success at their first novice/varsity tournament of the season hosted virtually by Evanston High School, November 13-14.

They brought home a 2nd place team sweepstakes trophy along with 22 individual awards. The Jackson team, coached by Londe and Peggy Gagnon earned the second-place spot in the 4A category with 100 sweepstakes points. Cheyenne East brought home first with 235 sweepstakes points (and 40% more entries than Jackson) in the tournament.

Senior and team captain Preston Harmon led the way in his individual events. He finished first in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking. He teamed up with fellow senior and team captain, Josh Hansen to take first place in varsity Public Forum Debate. Both events proved to be fruitful for the Jackson team with sophomores Jheili Montiel Huerta and Alexis Hernandez taking 4th and 5th respectively in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking. Junior Sarah Schweitzer took 4th in novice Extemporaneous Speaking while freshman Jackson Neishabouri placed 2nd in the event.

Following closely behind Hansen & Harmon in varsity Public Forum Debate, Montiel Huerta and partner, sophomore Ary Jimenez Garcia, along with Hernandez and partner, junior Carter Worcester all tied for third place. In the novice category of the event, Schweitzer and sophomore partner Ventura Garcia Perez took home the 1st place award for the second week in a row.

Sophomore Sophie Lamb found remarkable success in her events over the course of the weekend. She was the top novice finisher in Congressional Debate. She also placed first in the novice Lincoln Douglas Debate. James Neishabouri was close behind her in the event where he tied for third place.

Varsity Congressional Debate proved to be another strong event for the Jackson squad. Junior Lily Briggs brought home the 1st place finish, followed by Hansen in 2nd, and Worcester in 3rd.

Briggs went on to place 5th in varsity Program Oral Interpretation and sophomore Blanca Sartillo placed 4th. Jimienez Garcia placed 6th in varsity Oratory and sophomore Frida Campuzano Olivares finished in 4th in varsity Informative Speaking. Campuzano Olivares also went on to place 4th in varsity Poetry.

Sophomore Julieta Anaya placed 4th in Varsity Humor and she teamed up with Sartillo in varsity Duo Interpretation where they finished in 5th place.

The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate team is excited to have so many up and coming competitors.  Gagnon remarked, “Varsity and Novice worked together in seamless fashion to bring home numerous top awards in a very competitive 4A category. We are very pleased to see kids thriving in this crazy virtual format. We recognize the challenges everyone is facing adapting to new circumstances each week and could not be happier with their efforts. It’s going to be an amazing year.”

Jackson competes again this weekend at a virtual tournament hosted by Casper College.

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