JHHS Speech team takes 2nd at first tournament

JACKSON, Wyo. — Competing at their first all varsity meet of the season, the Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team earned a second place finish in the team sweepstakes at the Thunder Basin Bolt Blast, held Jan 8-9, 2021.

Fourteen schools competed in the tournament that saw nearly 250 individual entries from Wyoming and South Dakota. The Jackson team placed second in the 4A category behind Cheyenne East. Londe and Peggy Gagnon coach the team.

Junior William Aepli came away as the champion in the “House” category of the event. Senior and team captain Josh Hansen placed third while junior Carter Worcester followed closely behind in fourth place. Junior Lily Briggs placed sixth while sophomore Sophie Lamb finished in seventh place. In the “Senate” category of the event, sophomore Bohdan Barnett placed seventh.

Sophomore Blanca Sartillo Mejia had a triumphant weekend with top finishes in all three of her events. She placed fifth in Program Oral Interpretation and reached semi finals  in Poetry Interpretation. She went on to partner with sophomore Julieta Anaya Aguilar to place seventh in Duo Interpretation.

In PF Debate,  sophomores Ventura Garcia Perez and Alexis Hernandez finished the weekend in seventh place. Briggs and Aepli teamed up as well and finished in eighth place. The teams spent the weekend arguing if the National Security Agency should end its surveillance of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Senior and team captain Preston Harmon found success in Extemporaneous Speaking with a fourth place finish. Barnett also found success in Informative Speaking with his eighth place finish. Lamb finished in Lincoln Douglas Debate with her 3-1 win, loss record, narrowly missing the semi final round based on a tiebreaker.

The team is planning its own virtual invitational tournament scheduled for Feb 1-6, 2021. For the home tournament, the Speech Team is in need of about 200 volunteers to judge for approximately an hour and a half each.  Judging guidelines will be provided and several practice judging sessions will be offered. Judging experience is not required.

Events include Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Big Questions Debate,  Extemporaneous Debate, Congressional Debate, Cross Examination Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Humor, Drama, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Prose, Editorial Commentary, and Duet. Judging these talented high school competitors is an entertaining and rewarding experience that can be completed from the comfort of your own home.

If you would be able to volunteer anytime please sign up (At this link)   or email coach Londe Gagnon at [email protected].             

About The Author

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who recently made Jackson home. Born and raised in Connecticut, she enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. She is most passionate about delivering and pursuing stories that directly impact the lives of individuals in the community. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.

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