JHHS Speech and Debate off to strong start

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team started its 2017-2018 season with a third-place finish in 4A at the Rock Springs Speech Tournament, held at Rock Springs High School, November 3-4.

Londe Gagnon who coaches the team with Peggy Gagnon said, “Rock Springs was a great first meet as it bonded the new members with the varsity members and demonstrated that Jackson’s team will have a number of strong competitors.”

Individually, members of the team earned several top place awards. Senior and team captain, Aaron Trauner started the year off strong with his 1st-place finish in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking. Trauner went on to partner with sophomore Jake Todd to earn 2nd place in varsity Public Forum Debate.

“Triple Threat” Trey Dykeman.

Freshmen Hyla Chatham and Jacqueline Neishabouri placed 3rd in the novice category of the same event. Freshmen Josh Hansen and Trey Dykeman partnered up to bring home 1st place in the event.

The debate teams spent the weekend arguing for and against universal background checks for gun owners. Freshman Preston Harmon argued whether or not wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations in novice Lincoln Douglas Debate, earning 3rd place.

Senior and team captain, Ellie Dunn competed in Varsity Humorous Interpretation for the first time in her speech and debate career. She finished in an impressive 3rd place. Dunn also reached semifinals in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking.

Junior Samantha Smith, competing in varsity Informative Speaking, found great success with her 2nd place finish. In her speech, she examines the development of efficient and reliable ways to make precise, targeted changes to the DNA of living cells.

Sophomore River Gayton and junior Leila Sandlin reached semifinals in the same event. Junior Thomas Mercer placed fourth in the novice category of the event with his exploration of the use of straws in modern society. Mercer went on to earn a 6th place finish in novice Congressional Debate.

Sandlin also performed well in varsity Poetry Interpretation, reaching semifinals. Todd was also a semi-finalist in varsity Original Oratory while sophomore Maleah Tuttle finished as a semi-finalist in varsity Impromptu.

Dykeman placed fifth in novice Extemporaneous Speaking. Also, competing in novice Impromptu, Dykeman was honored with the “Triple Threat Award” awarded to students with the best records competing in three or more events at the tournament.

The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate team is excited to have so many up and coming competitors. “The speech and debate team is an amazing opportunity for you to show the skills you never knew you had. Varsity and Novice worked together in seamless fashion to bring home numerous top awards. It’s going to be an exciting season,” Gagnon said.

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