Hamilton’s Mock Trial team competed at Yale University’s Invitational tournament on Dec. 4-6. Unlike many tournaments, Yale’s divides teams into upper and lower divisions. For the first time in Hamilton’s history, the Mock Trial team competed in the upper division alongside other nationally ranked teams such as Harvard (last year’s national champions), Yale (last year’s 2nd place team at nationals), and New York University (ranked fourth in the nation).
With a win record of 5 - 2 – 1 (winning five ‘ballots,’ losing two and tying one), Hamilton’s team placed 13th out of 24 in the tournament. Despite ranking 13th, the team had a better win record, and higher point differential than most teams in the top 10. In addition, one of Hamilton’s first-year witnesses, Patrick McConnell ’19, won his second outstanding witness award.
The first round of competition was against New York University, which then went on to place second in the tournament. NYU is consistently ranked in the top 10 teams nationally, and is known among college mock trial teams to be a powerhouse. Hamilton lost this round, but only by a small margin. Throughout the entire weekend, this was the only team to which Hamilton lost. The team sees this loss not as an indication of weakness, but rather of strength. Since half of Hamilton’s competing roster this weekend was made up of new members, the fact that they were able to do so well against an older team is exciting, and telling of the success they will face later in the season.
In the next three trials, Hamilton’s team faced Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, and Emory University. The team unanimously won the first two rounds, and tied the last one with Emory. Throughout these trials Hamilton’s team members demonstrated focus, charisma, and a strong ability to think under pressure as they had to adapt to each team’s differing case strategies.
The Mock Trial team is proud of their success at Yale’s Invitational tournament, and sees their performance at Yale as indicative of successes to come later in the season. The team is currently beginning to prepare for their next tournament at Ohio Northern University (Jan. 16-18).
The competing team members at this tournament were: Co-Captain Hunter Green ’16, Andrew Fischer ’17, Ryan Bloom ’18, Thomas Duda ’18, Conor O’Shea ’18, Rachel Dawson ’19, Samantha Gordon ’19, Brad Marston ’19, and Patrick McConnell ’19.