Competing at their first all varsity meet of the season, the Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team earned a second place finish in the team sweepstakes at the Thunder Basin Bolt Blast, held Jan 8-9. Fourteen schools competed in the tournament that saw nearly 250 individual entries from Wyoming and South Dakota. The Jackson team placed second in the 4A category behind Cheyenne East.
Cheyenne East’s dominance has been evident all season but so has Jackson’s mastery in Congressional Debate. CD again proved fruitful for the Jackson squad as Junior William Aepli came away as the champion in the “House” category of the event.
Senior and team captain Josh Hansen placed 3rd while junior Carter Worcester followed closely behind in 4th place. Junior Lily Briggs placed 6th while sophomore Sophie Lamb finished in 7th place.
In the “Senate” category of the event, sophomore Bohdan Barnett placed 7th.
Sophomore Blanca Sartillo Mejia had a triumphant weekend with top finishes in all three of her events. She placed 5th in Program Oral Interpretation and reached semifinals in Poetry Interpretation. She went on to partner with sophomore Julieta Anaya Aguilar to place 7th in Duo Interpretation.
In PF Debate, sophomores Ventura Garcia Perez and Alexis Hernandez finished the weekend in 7th place. Briggs and Aepli teamed up as well and finished in 8th place.
Senior and team captain Preston Harmon secured a 4th place finish in Extemporaneous Speaking. Barnett also finished 8th in Informative Speaking. Lamb finished strong in Lincoln Douglas Debate, going 3-1 at the meet and narrowly missing the semifinal round.
The team is planning its own virtual invitational tournament scheduled for Feb 1-6, 2021. For the home tournament, the Speech Team is in need of about 200 volunteers to judge for approximately an hour and a half each.