JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team pulled down a third place finish out of 14 schools competing at the Green River Invitational on December 8-9. The Jackson team, under the coaching of Londe Gagnon and Peggy Gagnon, advanced 11 students to semis and final rounds, earning an overall 43 points for the team sweepstakes.
Sophomore, Jake Todd reached the final round in all three of his competition events. He placed 5th in Dramatic Interpretation and 3rd in Original Oratory. Todd went on to partner with senior and team captain, Aaron Trauner to bring home coveted first place honors in Public Forum Debate. The duo spent the weekend arguing whether or not NCAA student athletes ought to be recognized as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Trauner, a senior, was also recognized as the Best Speaker in the event. Freshman Trey Dykeman earned the same title in the Novice division of Public Forum Debate.
As for Trauner, the team captain continued his success with his first place finish in Extemporaneous Speaking. Senior and team captain, Ellie Dunn followed closely behind with her 3rd place finish in the event while sophomore Maleah Tuttle earned 6th.
Dykeman made it to semifinals in the novice division of the same event. Sophomore River Gayton placed 5th in Informative Speaking with her speech on the history of Barbies.
Sophomore Warren Levy had a strong weekend, earning a second place trophy in Lincoln Douglas Debate. He advanced to the final round with an undefeated record arguing both sides on whether wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations.
Freshman Preston Harmon had successful run in the novice division of the event, narrowly missing the semi-finals of the event with his record of 3 wins and 1 loss.
The interpretation events proved fruitful for the Jackson team. Sophomores Mallory Reisbeck and Josie Campbell found success in novice Duo Interpretation where they finished 3rd. In Poetry Interpretation, junior Leila Sandlin placed 5th. Freshman Hyla Chatham reached semifinals in the novice category of the event with her presentation of Maya Angelou poems. In Humorous Interpretation, Dunn and junior Alisha Vinson showed their strength by making it to the semi final round.
Coach Londe Gagnon is happy with how deep the roster is.
“The diversity of the team in multiple events was apparent at the meet. Our students showed that they are competitive with the best in the state. We are excited to see what the team can accomplish in the coming months,” he said.
The team is already planning its own invitational tournament. It will take place Friday and Saturday, January 26-27, 2018. For the home tournament, the Speech Team is in need of about 300 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. Refreshments and free babysitting will be provided.
Interested? Email Coach Gagnon.
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