Hillsdale’s Mock Trial team became the highest ranked team in Hillsdale College history after they’re last two tour­na­ments. Mason Aberle | Courtesy

With their success at recent tour­na­ments, Hillsdale College Mock Trial has the highest win per­centage of any mock trial team in the college’s history. 

Both teams 1126 and 1127 attended the Case Western Spartan Throwdown on Oct. 28 and 29, and 1126 com­peted at the Illinois State Uni­versity Invi­ta­tional this past weekend. Team 1126 placed third at both tour­na­ments, taking home a trophy from a tour­nament in which they have never pre­vi­ously placed, and beating the current national title holder in the process. 

At Case Western, team 1126 faced Bel­larmine Uni­versity, the Uni­versity of Arizona, Uni­versity of Michigan’s B Team, as well as no. 1‑ranked Miami of Ohio’s A team. Team 1127 had a strong first day according to coach Lindsey Church ’17, beating Uni­versity of Kentucky’s B team and Michigan State University’s A team. Though 1127 dropped both ballots from Miami of Ohio’s A team, they tied with Uni­versity of Michigan’s A team, winning five out of eight pos­sible ballots during the tournament. 

Team 1126 faced Uni­versity of Iowa’s A team in the first round, and handed Uni­versity of Iowa their only losses for the tour­nament. HCMT went on to defeat Wheaton College, tie with North Central College, and beat Uni­versity of Illinois at Chicago, with whom they tied at regionals last year. Junior Captain Mason Aberle and sophomore Konrad Ludwig received per­sonal awards for their performances.

According to coaches Jon Church ’17 and Lindsey Church ’17, this year’s team is the most out­standing in the history of Hillsdale College. 

“From Lindsey’s and my per­spective, both from per­sonal obser­vation and sta­tistics, we are the best we’ve ever been,” Church said. 

Team 1126 has the highest win per­centage of any team Hillsdale has ever had, with a record of 20 – 1‑1. Team 1127 is on its way to taking over the 7th highest spot this weekend’s Uni­versity of Illinois at Urbana-Cham­paign Illini Invitation.

Sophomore Emma Eisenman said she is proud of her team’s accomplishments. 

“This year there are so many new people. It’s almost all under­classmen and a lot of people’s first year,” she said. “It’s crazy we are holding this record and knocking teams off the score­board like it’s our job, and other teams are stacked.”

Next week, members of teams 1126 and 1127 will be more offi­cially sep­a­rated — or “stacked” — into A and B teams, which will be the official teams for the rest of the season. Though Mock Trial is sep­a­rated, the coaches empha­sized the impor­tance of having two strong, unified teams.

“Team unity is a big thing,” Jon Church said. “You talk to good pro­grams, and people fear hitting the school’s B team as much as their A team. We have such talent and we are trying to make the tran­sition from having one com­pet­itive team to having both com­pet­itive, A and B. Both teams are really expected to perform at the level of another school’s A team.”

Jon Church said one of the HCMT’s goals is to send both teams to the American Mock Trial Asso­ci­ation Open Round Cham­pi­onship Series in March, and to send at least one team to Nationals in April. 

“We have a team that really wants to win,” junior and team 1126 Captain Mason Aberle said. “We don’t want to win just for the sake of it but because of our stan­dards. All of us go into it with a sense of duty to coaches, team­mates, cap­tains, and that is exactly what you need.”

Team 1126 will compete at the Yale Invi­ta­tional tour­nament and team 1127 will compete at the Carnegie Mellon Invi­ta­tional from December 2 – 3 before taking winter break.