Four schools attended the one-day meet, held in Jackson on Jan. 8. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole High School (JHHS) Speech and Debate Team started the new year off with several impressive finishes in its first tournament of 2022.

Four schools attended the one-day meet, held in Jackson on Jan. 8. The Jackson team, under the coaching of Londe Gagnon and Peggy Gagnon, officially recused themselves from the sweepstakes category, but they would have earned first place if they had been in the running.

Junior Julieta Anaya Aguilar was the champion in Poetry Interpretation which was followed up with a 3rd place award in Dramatic Interpretation. Junior Frida Campuzano Olivares tied for first place in Informative Speaking and finished 6th in Poetry Interpretation.Junior Nicole Checker tied for the championship in Dramatic Interpretation and tied for 3rd in Original Oratory. Sophomore Sascha Mizelle finished as the champion in Humorous Interpretation with freshman Case Meaney finishing in second place.
Juniors Maya Worcester and Ventura Garcia Perez were the champions in Duet Interpretation.

JHHS Speech and Debate Team at its first tournament of the year at Jackson Hole High School. Photo: Londe Gagnon

The JHHS team also excelled in the debate events. Senior and team captain, Lily Briggs teamed up with Meaney in Public Forum Debate where they tied for third place along with the team of freshmen Jasper Brandenburg and Ben Moffett. Sophomores Jackson and James Neishabouri were the 2nd place finishers. Senior and team captain Carter Worcester, partnered with senior Sarah Schweitzer to bring home the 1st place award in the event. The debate topic centered on whether or not the United States federal government should legalize all illicit drugs.

In the Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate, Mizelle was the runner-up in the event and freshman Oscar Andersen finished in 5th place. The LD topic debated over the weekend was whether or not the appropriation of outer space by private entities is unjust.

Congressional Debate again proved to be a strong event for the JHHS squad with Maya Worcester finishing in 8th, Briggs finishing in 7th, Garcia Perez placing 4th, James Neishabouri tying for 3rd and Carter Worcester placing 2nd.

“The strength of our team continues to grow,” said Peggy Gagnon, JHHS Speech and Debate Team coach. “The smaller size of the tournament gave many members opportunities to shine this weekend. We are extremely pleased with the promise of our entire team and we are very grateful to all of our community members that judged for us and allowed us to provide this experience for our team and the others that attended.”

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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.