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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mock Trial goes to nationals


Courtesy of Samantha Swartz 

The UA Mock Trial team poses for a photo in San Diego after qualifying for Nationals on March 8. The team will travel to the National Championship Tournament in Cincinnati to compete next weekend.

The top competitive team from UA Mock Trial will travel to Cincinnati to represent the UA at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament from next weekend.

Matthew Ashton, treasurer and co-captain of the Mock Trial A-team and an aerospace engineering senior, said this tournament will feature the top-48 Mock Trial teams in the nation going head-to-head against one another in four simulated trials. He said they are competing in hopes of making it to the final round, which will be held the afternoon of April 19.

Ashton also said the national championship tournament will be unique this year. He said typically, The American Mock Trial Association only puts out one case each year, and all of the tournaments use the same witnesses, facts and pieces of evidence. Ashton said this year, for the first time, there will be a completely new case used for the national championship tournament next weekend.

“We have been working on this new case ever since it came out, preparing direct and cross examination, opening statements and closing arguments,” Ashton said. “And trying to prepare for every possible curve our opponents could throw at us. On the whole, we believe that the new case puts us at an advantage over other teams in the nation, as we feel that our strengths with quick-thinking and improvisation will serve us better than most programs, who focus more on meticulously scripting out everything that can happen in the trial.”

Emily Farmer, UA Mock Trial tournament director and co-captain of the Mock Trial A-team, said the teams were given only three weeks to prepare for the brand new case. She also said the team has participated eight tournaments so far this school year, making the national championship the ninth.

Ashton said this year will be the first time UA Mock Trial will have sent a team to the national championships for a second year in a row.

“[Last year] we competed strongly, placing sixteenth in our division, and becoming one of the top-five finishers from the West Coast,” Ashton said.

Farmer said her absolute favorite memory from this year was qualifying for the national championship for the second time.

“My favorite memories are seeing all of our new and freshman members grow throughout the year,” Farmer said. “This is my fourth year competing, and it still is amazing to see how much people can improve over just one year.” 

Samantha Swartz, a physics sophomore, will be competing in the national championship for the first time this year.

Swartz said she originally joined Mock Trial because she was interested in law school and wanted to see how she liked preparing a case and going to trial. She also said at the time she was uncomfortable with public speaking and wanted to practice being more confident in front of a crowd.

“The year is almost over, so I’m looking forward to ending our season strong,” Swartz said. “I’m also excited to hit excellent teams from around the country. But mostly, I look forward to traveling and competing at this amazing tournament with my friends. They’re like family, and they are what makes this club so much fun.”


Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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