Mock Trial Advances to State
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By Kazi Nassif
The Mock Trial team advanced to state for the first time in four years this month at the George Allen Sr. Courts Building. The team competed in five rounds over the course of a week.
Seniors Connor Jones, Prosper Osuchukwu, and Mark Witte captained the team. Juniors Addyson Bender and Isra Hamid Ali also helped lead the team.
“We’re always improving round by round so I felt like I had hit my stride by the last round,” Jones said. “To be honest, the rest of the team putting on the best team presentation I had seen allowed me to relax and perform at a high level.”
Osuchukwu won an award for outstanding advocate, beating out competitors from 28 schools. Bender and Osuchukwu received honorable mentions for witness and attorney, respectively.
Mock Trial Coach Ben Fiedler said that the efforts of everyone involved helped propel the team to state.
“Our hard work and focus made the difference,” Fiedler said. “We are also appreciative of Mr. Bruner and Mr. Westfall’s support in all we do. Their support enables our students to achieve their potential.”
Fiedler had high expectations for his team going into the competition because he knew that with the work the team put in, it was just a matter of replicating their practice in a competitive setting.
“I absolutely expected us to qualify to state,” Fiedler said. “I think that’s just because of the quality of the group that we have. They’re just really good at what they do.”
Four years ago, when the team advanced to state, there was a much smaller chance that it would be recognized nationally. Now, team members believe they have better odds.
“For the first time in ten years, we have an opportunity to be nationally ranked,” Osuchukwu said. “I’m excited for state, and looking forward to making a push for nationals.”
Jones said that the team’s advancement to state will help the RHS law magnet as a whole in the long run.
“Going to state is always good for the law magnet because it helps get kids interested in joining mock trial,” he said. “With our chances of advancing to nationals looking good, we have the opportunity to add to the legacy of RHS mock trial.”