The Jackson Hole High School Speech Team, in its last regular season meet, competed at the Worland Invitational Speech Meet 6-7 March, hosted by Worland High School. The team placed 3rd among 4A schools. They finished with 34 sweepstakes points compared to first place Rock Springs’ 62 points and 2nd place Natrona County’s 40 points. A total of 36 schools from seven states attended the tournament.
“We are very excited to see so many team members reaching their strides right before our state and district meets. With our state tournament less than a week away, we will be bringing the experience and confidence necessary to make a strong showing there,” said co-coach Londe Gagnon
How about William Aepli? The junior is enjoying a stellar season where he has placed 1st in Congressional Debate at every Wyoming tournament he has competed at in 2021. This past weekend was no different as he came away with the championship. Aepli was followed closely by junior Carter Worcester who finished in 2nd place. Senior and team captain Josh Hansen landed at the 6th spot while sophomore Sophie Lamb took 10th.
Aepli and Hansen teamed up in Duo Interpretation where they finished in 6th place. Aepli went on to partner with junior Lily Briggs in Public Forum Debate where the pair finished in 5th. Worcester and junior Sarah Schweitzer paired up in the event also, finishing in 6th place. Sophomores Jheili Montiel Huerta and Alexis Hernandez paired up as well and had the strongest showing of the impressive Jackson squad with their 3rd place finish.
Senior and fellow team captain Preston Harmon finished in 5th place in Extemporaneous Speaking while sophomore Blanca Sartillo Mejia placed 6th in Program Oral Interpretation. Hansen and Hernandez impressed in Impromptu Speaking where they reached the semifinals of the event. Sophomore Julieta Anaya Aguilar also reached the semifinals in both Poetry Interpretation and Humor Interpretation.
The team’s final meets of the year hold special significance. On March 11-13, 33 teams will assemble for the annual State Tournament. This will be the second time the state tournament will be held online since the in-person tournament last year was cancelled just one hour before it was slated to begin. The Wyoming Forensics Association pivoted and held the tournament online a month later. This year’s tournament should prove to be very competitive as teams have now been competing online all year.
Two weeks from now, teams from the Wind River District of the National Speech and Debate Association will gather online to qualify selected students for the National Tournament, to be held virtually this June.