Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Two earn spots at speech nationals


March 21, 2019

Photo by Lyle Wiley

HSCHS Speech and Debate team members Hannah Hu and Breeze Petty will be attending the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, TX in June. The pair qualified for the tournament last weekend in Green River.

The Bobcat Speech and Debate team finished their season in fine form, qualifying two students for the National Tournament in Dallas, Texas this June.

Junior Hannah Hu will be attending with her informative on beauty. Hu went beyond the normal talk of physical beauty to point out how our minds perceive beauty in nature and everything around us, including photographs, art and the Japanese aesthetics of wabi sabi, the acceptance of imperfection.

Hu wrote her informative at the start of the year and has been dominating the circuit all season.

“Hannah (Hu) is one of those competitors that every coach dreams of,” coach Cindy Glasson said. “She comes in with an idea and doesn’t stop working until everything is perfect, from the tone of her voice to the gestures she uses while speaking.”

The second qualifier for Dallas is junior Breeze Petty who will be doing congress at the National Tournament.

Petty nearly qualified twice, making it to out-rounds in Lincoln-Douglas debate, the event she normally competes in. In the end, she placed fifth in Debate.

The amazing thing with Petty qualifying in congress is that it was the first time she had ever competed in that particular event.

“Breeze (Petty) just started looking at congress as a second event for qualifiers less than two weeks ago,” Glasson said. “She works so hard at everything she does that it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that she qualified. Of course, competitors that have been doing congress all year were a bit shocked to be knocked out of the running by her.”

Tyler Kay, who attended the National Tournament last summer, nearly made it again, finishing first alternate in drama.

“I know Tyler (Kay) was a bit disappointed in the outcome,” Glasson said, “but he’s very supportive of his teammates and will be a huge help when it comes to preparing them mentally for the challenge of Nationals.”

Kay found out on Tuesday night that he has been named an Academic All American through the National Speech and Debate Association. The honor is based not only academic excellence, but his activities outside the classroom and the number of points he has garnered through speech and debate.

“I am so very proud of every member of this team,” coach Lyle Wiley said. “They were all competitive from the beginning to the end of the season, and they brought their very best to every tournament.

“Our two qualifiers work so hard every single day, and they have earned this opportunity to show what Hot Springs County High School students can do up against the best in the country. We are a young team with a whole lot of potential to build an even better season next year.

“We want to build a large team and make an impact on student lives – we are well ont he way to that larger goal. I am so excited for the future of Bobcat Speech and Debate.”

The National Tournament will be June 16-21 and now the team will have to concentrate on fundraising to make the trip.

“We have a few options when it comes to traveling,” Glasson said. “We’ve been talking with a couple of other teams for most of the season, all of us expecting to have qualifiers, thinking about ways we can help each other with travel and housing for our teams.

“That’s the great thing about speech and debate. The coaches know its all about the kids and we’re willing to work together to make sure they have the best experience possible.”


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