JHHS Speech Team hitting its stride headed to state

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole High School Speech Team ended its regular season strong with a second-place finish at the Worland Invitational Speech Meet this weekend. Jackson placed second among 4A schools, competing with 35 entries compared to first place Green River’s 93 entries. A total of 20 schools attended the tournament.

“We are very excited to see so many team members reaching their strides right before our State and District meets,” coach Londe Gagnon commented. “With our State meet just a week away, we will be bringing the experience and confidence necessary to make a strong showing there.”

Junior Leila Sandlin took home first place in Poetry Interpretation with her selection of poems exploring the concept of beauty. She went on to place 4th in Program Oral Interpretation.

Senior and team captain Ellie Dunn finished with a third in Humorous Interpretation. Junior Alisha Vinson narrowly missed the semifinals in the event, finishing in 13th place. Dunn partnered with junior Thomas Mercer in Duet interpretation where they finished in 7th place.

Sophomore Jake Todd had an impressive meet with his third-place finish in Original Oratory and his fifth-place finish in Dramatic Interpretation. He also partnered with junior Samantha Smith in Public Forum Debate where they were edged out of the semifinal round by a tie-breaker. Senior Aaron Scher and freshman Trey Dykeman along with Freshman Jacqueline Neishabouri and sophomore Darcy Mueller faced the same situation with their 3-1 record in the same event at the tournament.

Smith showed strength in Informative Speaking with her 5th place finish. Sophomore River Gayton followed closely behind with her 6th place award. Sophomore Maleah Tuttle showed off her skills in Impromptu where she placed fourth.

Sophomore Warren Levy competed in five rounds of Lincoln Douglas Debate where he argued whether or not the United States ought to provide a universal basic income to its citizens. He barely missed making the final round on a 2-1 decision from the judges. He took home a 3rd place medal in the event.

The team’s final meets of the year hold special significance. On March 8-10, nearly 40 teams assemble in Lander for the annual State Tournament. In two weeks, teams from the Wind River District of the National Speech and Debate Association gather in Rock Springs to qualify selected students for the National Tournament, to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this June.

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