After its most recent tournament, the Hillsdale College Mock Trial program is preparing for the most competitive tournaments yet this semester: This weekend, Team 1126 will compete at the Yale Invitational and Team 1127 will contend at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational.
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tournament in mid-November, Team 1127 lost to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s A Team in the first round by one point, but followed by beating their opponents in the following three rounds. Team 1127 took both ballots from Indiana University’s D Team, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s D Team, and Truman State University’s B Team. They finished the competition in sixth place.
Sophomore Sophie Klomparens won an attorney award, and junior Lucas O’Hanian won a witness award at the tournament.
Coach Lindsey Church ’17 emphasized the need for a strong comeback after a first round loss, especially at the regional tournament, which determines each team’s national rankings for the next semester.
“One thing I try to train our team for, especially when we go to regionals, is the need to come back after a loss in the first round.”
Following Team 1127’s tournament at UIUC, the mock trial program stacked into A and B teams. Coaches Jon and Lyndsey Church selected members for each team based on statistics they collected from past tournaments. Both teams, however, are “competitive,” and expected to perform at a high level, the coaches said.
“We have cores for both the A and B teams, but depending on how things go, we might make some changes to the rosters going forward,” Lindsey Church said. “Our season goal is to hopefully get to nationals, and we want both teams to be as competitive as possible.”
According to junior Andrew Simpson, having two teams allows a program more voice in the American Mock Trial Association, and Hillsdale’s program features top-notch performers in each position.
Klomparens moved from Team 1127 to become co-captain of Team 1126, the A Team, with sophomore Mason Aberle. Simpson and first year mock trial member Bryson Phillippe, a junior, are co-captains for the B Team, 1127.
Now, HCMT is working on tweaking case theories, taking into account judges’ notes from their past tournaments, in preparation for Yale and Carnegie Mellon as well as next semester’s regional — and hopefully, national — tournaments. Team 1126 is focusing on editing their plaintiff’s case and catching up their new team members in preparation for this weekend’s tournament at Yale University, according to Coach Jon Church ’17.
“The Yale tournament is the most competitive invitational tournament we go to in the fall,” Jon Church said. “Their team is successful nationally, and it gets exposure from east coast teams, which have their own regional, distinct style. It’s good to get rounds against them and see how they interpret rounds.”
Simpson is confident about Hillsdale’s Mock Trial program going into this weekend’s tournaments and looking toward next semester.
“We have the skill for nationals, if the teams want it,” Simpson said.