The Jackson team, under the coaching of Londe Gagnon and Peggy Gagnon, earned an overall 68 points for the team sweepstakes. Photo: Londe Gagnon

THERMOPOLIS, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team continued its regular season with a first-place finish in 4A at the Bobcat Invitational, held at Hot Springs County High School, on Feb. 12

The Jackson team, under the coaching of Londe Gagnon and Peggy Gagnon, earned an overall 68 points for the team sweepstakes.

Junior Ventura Garcia Perez walked away from Congressional as the champion. He also found success in Lincoln Douglas Debate, debating whether or not the appropriation of outer space by private entities is unjust. Ultimately he finished in third place.

Senior and team captain Will Aepli earned the title of champion in Extemporaneous Speaking. Aepli joined partner, fellow senior and team captain, Lily Briggs in Public Forum Debate where they tied for third place. Joining them in the tie were sophomores Jackson and James Neishabouri. Juniors Alexis Hernandez and Jheili Montiel Huerta placed second in the event. The debate teams spent the weekend arguing both sides or whether or not on balance, Turkey’s membership is beneficial to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Hernandez went on to place fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking and sixth in Original Oratory. Briggs placed third in Congressional Debate. James Neishabouri and freshman Ben Moffett reached the finals round of the event as well.

The team traveled with only 11 members of the 22 member team and is coming off the heels of hosting their own tournament Feb. 4-5. The Jackson tournament hosted several unique events and multiple members of the JHHS team found success at the home tournament. Garcia Perez joined partners Jackson Neishabouri and junior Maya Worcester to bring home second place in World Schools Debate.

Senior and team captain Carter Worcester, along with senior Sarah Schweitzer “closed out” Extemporaneous Debate, tying for first place. The JHHS squad also swept the top of the podium in Editorial Commentary with Apeli placing first, junior Ary Jimenaez Garcia placing second, Carter Worcester placing third and Schweitzer finishing in fourth place. In Original Spoken Word Poetry, Briggs placed seventh. Juniors Julieta Anaya and Nicole Checker finished in fourth and third place respectively. Anaya went on to find success in Storytelling, taking second place. Garcia Perez placed sixth in the event with James Neishabouri and freshman Oscar Andersen reaching semi finals. And finally, Prose Interpretation saw Moffet placing sixth, Briggs placing fifth, while Jackson Neishabouri and freshman Jasper Brandenburg tied for third place.

The team travels this upcoming weekend to Riverton.

“With only three tournaments remaining until the culminating State and National Qualifying tournaments, the team looks to add to their season’s accomplishments,” said Coach Londe Gagnon.

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.