The biggest, the best, better than the rest

During spring break most students were on vacation, or hanging out with friends, or watching basketball, but a select group of AHS students were earning a trip to Dallas, Texas. From March 15 to March 17, the Ames High Mock Trial team participated in the State Mock Trial Competition. After five intense rounds of competing against other schools, they won the competition. As a result of this, the team will be heading to Dallas, Texas to compete in the National Mock Trial Competition in early May. The team consists of four students, playing the roles of attorneys, junior Katie Orazem, sophomore Mythili Prabhu, and seniors Krishna Prabhu and Supraja Rajagopalan, as well as seven students who play witnesses called at the trial. These students were juniors Jasmine Chen and Michael Masteller, and seniors Sarah Federle, Rohan Agarwal, Ulfur Grant, Keith Davis, Zach Borg. The team received their case in mid-December and practiced 10 to 12 hours each week. The case included the law, the complaint being brought forth, witnesses statements, and evidence. Then they were given several months to develop both the plaintiff and defense sides of the case. The actual competition consisted of several rounds where the team argued one side of the case each round against a different school. At the rounds, the team members were given scores depending on the realistic and professional nature of their performance. Every member could earn up to 20 points per round. The state tournament was held in Des Moines at the State Judicial Building March 15 and 16, and the semifinal and final rounds were held March 17 in the Iowa Supreme Court Chambers. To get to the state tournament, the teams have to win bids from their respective regional all over the state. By winning the state competition, Ames became ranked number one out of the 142 Iowa teams. This is quite an accomplishment because each round acts as a single elimination. Losing one round the entire season is equivalent to losing the whole tournament, so the Ames team went undefeated. “Iowa won nationals last year, so we are pretty intimidating coming into this year’s competition,” senior Krishna Prabhu said. At nationals, the team will have to argue a different case, which will come out April 2. The actual competition takes place in Dallas from May 10 to May 13.