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Mock Trial won first and sixth place in Chicago last weekend. Lauren Eicher | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College mock trial team dominated its competition in the Windy City last weekend, taking first and sixth at the University of Illinois in the Chicago Illini Tournament. Team 1106 snagged its first trophy for 1st place this season with a perfect record of 8 wins and 0 losses.  Team 1107 scored an honorable mention, sliding into 6th place with a record of five wins, two losses, and one tie.

“We are in good spirits because the 5.5-2.5 record would get the team hypothetically into opening round of championships,” said Lauren Eicher, a sophomore and member of Team 1107. “We have some work to do on case theories and our presentation, but the improvement from Saturday’s rounds to Sunday’s was already evident.”

Team 1106, gave an even better performance. Not only did it achieve a perfect score, but the team, captained by junior Nathan Cheng, won seven of the eight rounds by double digits. Cheng also scored his first Outstanding Attorney Award with 19 ranks. Twenty ranks is the highest an individual can score in one tournament.

“We were all very excited for him and proud of his hard work on the team,” Eicher said. “Nathan is going on the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program next semester so we were excited he ranked so well.”

Team 1106 tried out a new defense theory this tournament, swapping the “big-man defense theory,” in which they cede part of the prosecution’s allegations against the defendant in exchange for a defense centered on of one of the team’s strongest witnesses: senior Anna Fair Matthes.

“Anna Fair puts on an amazing performance. It just brings you to tears every time.” said junior Natalie Taylor, an attorney for Team 1106. “We were a lot more put together this weekend. You could really tell that everyone wanted it.”

Both teams learned over the weekend they were invited to participate in the Yale Invitational tournament this December.

“This is very exciting because it shows that both of Hillsdale’s teams are seen as competitive teams,” Eicher said. “Both teams are excited to work hard and prepare for the tournament in December. We plan on scrimmaging with 1106 to better our performance before we face more difficult teams.”

Freshman Julia Powell, a witness for Team 1107, said she has been well-pleased with the season so far.

“The mood at tournaments is probably my favorite part: it’s high energy, fun, and something humorous is always bound to happen in a round. And after spending two full days and a long bus ride home with your teammates, you grow really tight,” Powell said. “I think this type of tight knit community really symbolizes what Hillsdale is all about.”