The Hillsdale College Mock Trial Team 1126 travelled to New Haven Connecticut this weekend, where they took second place at the Yale Invitational Tournament.
Team 1126 tied with Lafayette University’s A team in the first round Saturday, and after some mid-round adjustments to their witness call order, they tied Yale University’s A team in the second round. The team beat Brown University’s A team and Northwestern’s A team on Sunday and finished in second place overall. Junior Mason Aberle, co-captain on Team 1126, won the top attorney award, and sophomore Konrad Ludwig won the top witness award.
“Konrad brought it and does it every tournament,” Aberle said.
Last year, Team 1126 was invited to Yale’s B tournament. This year, the competition was more challenging, as the other 27 teams in the tournament have all competed at nationals before, sophomore Emma Eisenman said. Hillsdale’s Mock Trial team has not yet attended the national tournament.
“Our mentality was that we had nothing to lose, so we just went for it,” Eisenman said. “We were emotionally exhausted but brought it and banded together as a family. We killed it all weekend.”
The team attributed their improvement this year to the team’s leadership and the good working relationship between Coach Jon Church ’17 and captains Aberle and sophomore Sophia Klomparens.
“Jon and I wanted to make whole structure similar to a football coach and a quarterback. We can’t talk to the coach during play, so it comes down to the captain,” Aberle said. “Sophie and I try to take that on during a round.”
This was Klomparens’ first tournament as co-captain for Team 1126. Both Klomparens and Aberle kept the team focused and serious during the rounds, Eisenman said.
“We are always pretty serious during rounds, but coming out of Northwestern, Mason was so serious. ‘This is winnable, this is how we do it,’” Eisenman said. “After that, we all got into it together.”
Eisenman commended both captains for their leadership.
“A captain is not a boss, he is a leader. We never feel like we are being bossed around, we just band together.”
After winter break, Hillsdale College Mock Trial Team 1126 will attend Cornell University’s Big Red Invitational Classic on January 20 – 21, and Team 1127 will attend Indiana University Hoosier Hoedown Tournament the following weekend. They will go on to the American Mock Trial Association Regional Competition before heading to the Opening Round Championships and, hopefully, the National Championship.