The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate team placed third in state, tying with Worland. Riverton and Star Valley took first and second.

The state meet, held March 7 through 9 in Riverton, included over 400 competitors and 34 schools.

The state meet limits schools to 20 entries as it progresses. Jackson advanced 50 percent of its entrants to the culminating rounds, impressive given the average of a 28 percent advancement rate.

Coach Peggy Gagnon was nominated for 3A coach of the season.

“To be nominated and considered for Coach of the Season by my peers and colleagues is an incredible honor,” she said in a press release. “I appreciate the entire Wyoming coaching team that dedicate their lives to these amazing students.”

Individually, students also did well. They picked up four 3A state championships. Team captain and senior Samantha Smith partnered with junior Warren Levy and won in the Public Forum Debate, arguing for eight rounds about market-rate housing in urban neighborhoods.

Levy also brought home the championship in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Senior and team captain Leila Sandlin placed first, earning herself a state championship in the Program Oral Interpretation with a program that addressed rape culture by combining drama, poetry and prose.

The team is preparing for the National Speech and Debate Qualifying District Tournament, which will be held in Rock Springs and Green River this weekend. Top finishers will then travel to the 2019 National Tournament in Texas over the summer.

Contact Kylie Mohr at 732-7079, schools@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGschools.

Kylie Mohr covers the education and health beats. Mohr grew up in Washington and came to Wyoming via Georgetown. She loves seeing the starry night sky again.

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