Jackson Hole High School

Jackson Hole High School

The wins keep coming for the Jackson Hole High School speech and debate team.

For the third time in its past four competitions, the squad took first place in the team sweepstakes, this time besting four schools in Star Valley.

With 90 sweepstakes points, the team took the contest handily, easily eclipsing the 65 points they scored in their previous competition.

In total, 18 Jackson students made the finals in their individual events at the Jan. 17-18 tournament, and two came away with first-place honors.

Junior Josh Hansen won the Congressional Debate category, and senior River Gayton took top billing in Informative Speaking, in which she was asked to present a 10-minute speech from memory on a topic of her choosing.

According to the National Speech and Debate Association, Informative Speaking is meant to educate the audience, not advocate for one particular viewpoint.

Three Jackson students took second place in their competitions, including junior Preston Harmon in Program Oral Interpretation, which requires students to use prose, drama and poetry to create an original performance on a theme.

“Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance,” the association’s website says. “A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times.”

Team Captain Warren Levy took second in Lincoln Douglas Debate, and senior Darcy Mueller was the runner-up in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Several Jackson students found themselves in third place.

Hansen and Harmon took third in Public Forum Debate, a paired event.

Will Aepli had a strong showing with a pair of third-place finishes. He followed Levy on the Lincoln Douglas Debate podium, and he took third in Impromptu Speaking, an event that requires students to write a speech in seven minutes.

“The speech can be lighthearted or serious,” according to the association. “It can be based upon prompts that range from nursery rhymes, current events, celebrities, organizations, and more.”

Levy also took third in Extemporaneous Speaking, while a pair of sophomores — Carter Worchester and Jesiah Coates — snagged the bronze in Public Forum Debate. Worchester also found the podium in Congressional Debate.

The speech and debate team heads to Evanston this weekend for another tournament.

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Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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