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Mock Trial Team 1107. Alex Yun | Courtesy

The Hillsdale mock trial teams par­tic­i­pated in the 10th Annual Spartan Throwdown Invi­ta­tional at Case Western Uni­versity, placing 7th and 27th.

Team 1106 took 7th place with a record of five wins and three losses, while Team 1107 snagged 27th with a record of two wins, five losses, and one tie. While not as strong a showing as their pre­vious tour­nament, the teams squared off against some of their toughest oppo­nents yet, including Case Western Uni­versity, Eastern Michigan Uni­versity, and Uni­versity of Chicago. Sophomore Andrew Simpson, team captain of Team 1107, was opti­mistic about their future per­for­mance in tour­na­ments.

“I was very impressed to see the improvement that our freshman members have been making.” Simpson said. “We have a lot of talent on our team in regards to the public speaking abil­ities of our members, and it showed.”

Simpson said the team planned on making some changes and improve­ments before the next tour­nament.

“There are, of course, areas that need to be worked on,” Simpson said. “We are looking to make our defense theory clearer for the judges to under­stand, and improve our teams’ cross-exam­i­na­tions. But oth­erwise, we are sitting in a good position for the rest of invi­ta­tional season.”

Sophomore Daniel Hen­reckson, an attorney for Team 1106, said he was happy the team could gain some crucial expe­rience so early in the season.

“The teams we faced were all of a higher caliber than almost every team we faced at the last tour­nament in MSU,” Hen­reckson said. “The point of the invi­ta­tional season is to give the new members practice and to develop our case the­ories and per­for­mances to be the best they can be by Regionals next semester. Winning is sec­ondary. It’s a great boost to morale and means we’re doing some­thing right, but it’s not the goal at this point.”  

Freshman Andrew Shaffer par­tic­i­pated in Mock Trial in high school and now con­tributes as an attorney for Team 1106.

“Our pros­e­cution needs some improvement,” Shaffer said. “We are going to try to make it flashier: more demon­stra­tives, time­lines, and things to show to the judges. As of now, we are just kind of talking. It looks a lot better if you’re able to put it in front the their faces.”

The team will be heading to Uni­versity of Illinois Urbana-Cham­pagne for another tour­nament this month. Shaffer has high hopes for the rest of the invi­ta­tional.

“It’s a little dis­ap­pointing not to place within the top three, but I thought that the teams we faced at this tour­nament were a lot better,” Shaffer said. “The expe­rience we got from that is going to be a lot more helpful moving forward in the season.”