Mock Trial team places eighth at State

Although the Ames High Mock Trial team didn’t place as high at their state competition as last year’s team, they still felt that with the absence of six of last year’s seniors, they were still able to make a high standing. The team placed eighth at the state competition this year, which is quite an accomplishment considering the age and experience of the team. Ames High’s Mock Trial team had one of their state competition trials on March 16, and then two trials the following day. There are over 160 mock trial teams in the state of Iowa. The state competition, however, only includes 34 teams that place highly at their respective regional competitions. “Usually it’s considered quite an accomplishment for a team to place in the top ten at state,” sophomore Katie Orazem said. Despite this, the team was slightly disappointed by their end results. They lost their last trial to a group made up entirely of seniors. The point differential between the two teams was only five points, which is very small in mock trial. “We were disappointed. We thought we deserved to win,” Orazem said. Only one team from Ames went to state this year due to the break up of the other team. This year’s team included seniors Victoria Breshears and Jeremy Girton, juniors Krishna Prabhu, Supraja Rajagopalan, Rohan Agarwal, Yoni Ackerman and Sarah Federle, sophomores Katie Orazem and Jasmine Chen, as well as freshman Mythili Prabhu. “Mock Trial is definitely not about quantity, it’s about quality. That’s why we still did well with only one team. We are definitely a quality team,” Ackerman said. The mock trial team started preparing after receiving the case mid-fall. The team had to be ready to argue both sides of the case. From the case materials attorneys figured out what arguments to ask to present their side of the case, while witnesses worked on shaping their characters depending on the information provided in their statements. In a high school mock trial competition, two judges very subjectively judge the trial. The team’s score is not determined by the judge’s verdict, but how real they make the court case look. Witnesses are judged on how well they portray their character. Because the students have had the case for so long, they are expected to know how to respond to examinations. The team is ready and motivated to work hard for next year. “Because we’ll have so many returning members next year, I think it will give us the motivation to work as a team and really do well,” Orazem said.