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Hills­dale’s Mock Trial Team.

Hillsdale Mock Trial Team 1150 won a bid to the Opening Round Cham­pi­onship Series (ORCS) by placing fifth at the regional tour­nament in Indi­anapolis, Indiana last weekend.

The tour­nament fea­tured four rounds of trials. During each round, teams had a chance to win up to 2 ballots, which are awarded by judges. Team 1150 won 5.5 ballots.

Senior and team captain Andrew Simpson said there was a little bit of panic on the team after losing 1.5 points to Mis­souri in the third round. He said the team regained con­fi­dence after seeing Purdue’s A‑team, who they swept in the final round.

‘We really wanted it in the final round. 1150’s members gave one of the best per­for­mances I have seen them give and after seeing their focus and per­for­mance, we were pretty sure we were going to get the 2 ballots we needed,” Simpson said. 

The ORCS tour­nament that Team 1150 qual­ified for will take place from March 6 – 8 in Geneva, Illinois. Simpson said he is looking forward to changes in the case that will happen before ORCS, which he believes gives his team an advantage.

“Our skills are def­i­nitely along the lines of we get new case mate­rials and develop strong cases quickly and effi­ciently and get them mem­o­rized and present them very well,” Simpson said. “Hon­estly ORCS this year is very much suited to Hillsdale Mock Trial’s strengths.”

Team 1149 also com­peted at the regional tour­nament and won 5 ballots but fell short of securing a direct bid. They drew the highest-ranked team in the tour­nament, the Miami Uni­versity A‑team, in the first round and lost both ballots. 

Freshman Megan Williams of Team 1149, who is com­peting in the col­le­giate post­season for the first time, said the regional tour­nament was more stressful than high school com­pe­ti­tions.

“This weekend was really stressful and espe­cially after losing the first round — knowing that you can’t really screw up after that,” Williams said. “It was kind of tense with everybody.”

Junior Sophia Klom­parens, team captain of 1149, said there is a chance the team can qualify for the Opening Round Cham­pi­onship Series indi­rectly but they won’t know for two weeks.

“I’m so proud of all of them,” Klom­parens said. “Whatever happens they gave every­thing that they had and it was such a good run. Obvi­ously it’s not over yet, we’ve still got a nationals bid to go get.”

Several team members were honored for their indi­vidual per­for­mances. On Team 1150, Liesl Ragner and Ethan Tong won out­standing witness awards, and Mattis Beloncle won an out­standing attorney award. Andrew Shaffer won an out­standing attorney award for team 1149.

Hillsdale Mock Trial Team 1151 will compete for a bid to the ORCS at the regional tour­nament in Dayton, Ohio this weekend.