Speech and Debate, March 5

The Jackson Hole High School speech and debate team continued its strong run this season by taking second place at the Rock Springs Invitational.

The Jackson Hole High School speech and debate team keeps rolling.

Last weekend, the team took second overall in the Rock Springs Invitational, hosted by Rock Springs High School. That continues a season-long trend of finding the podium as a squad.

“Only one more tournament remains before the State tournament. With the team’s performances this weekend the students have shown they are gearing up for the very competitive culminating tournaments,” coaches Londe and Peggy Gagnon said in a statement.

Any good team performance in speech and debate is based on a bevy of solid individual acts. Several competitors notched the top spot in their respective events.

Team captains Josh Hansen and Preston Harmon, both seniors, paired up to win the Public Forum Debate. Juniors William Aepli and Lily Briggs took third in the event.

Aepli also won in Congressional Debate, an event in which students draft proposed laws or resolutions, then debate them, according to the National Speech and Debate Association.

No other student found the top three of an event, but a team press release lists a multitude of semifinalists in events from poetry interpretation to extemporaneous speaking. Even without a laundry list of winners, the strong baseline performances across the board propelled Jackson’s students to the second-place finish.

The tournament capped a strong February for the team, which took third in the Green River Invitational on Feb. 19 and 20, and sent students to a prestigious contest hosted by Harvard University.

The season is winding down, but students will have a couple more opportunities to compete, first at this weekend’s Worland Invitational hosted by Worland High School. After that comes the state tournament, where the squad will hope to bring home some hardware.

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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