After driving nearly nine hours to Ada, Ohio, Hamilton College’s Mock Trial Team took 2nd place at the Jan. 16-17 10th Annual Polar Bear Invitational at Ohio Northern University. With a win record of 7-1 and the highest point differential of any team, Hamilton was a force to be reckoned with.
In addition to the impressive team performance, three team members took home individual awards. Rachel Dawson ’19 won an outstanding witness award for her role as the Defendant. Patrick McConnell ’19 won his third outstanding witness award of the season for his role as the head of a security team. Conor O’Shea ’18 won an outstanding attorney award for his role as a defense and prosecution attorney. The team was just narrowly beat out by the University of Pittsburgh (also with a record of 7-1).
Throughout the tournament, Hamilton faced teams with a variety of skill levels and case theories. The first round was against the hosting school, Ohio Northern University. Hamilton started the weekend off strong in this round, winning it unanimously. In addition, local media filmed a section of this trial. In the video segment (found here), defense attorney and Mock Trial co-captain Hunter Green ’16 takes the spotlight while giving his closing argument, and the rest of the defense counsel (Ryan Bloom ’18, Conor O’Shea ’18), as well as the defendant (Rachel Dawson ’19) are also shown.
Next, Hamilton faced the University of Dayton. The pace of this trial was much different than the prior round, forcing both teams to adapt and work under increased pressure. Ultimately, Hamilton and the University of Dayton tied the round.
On the final day of the tournament, Hamilton faced Indiana University in the morning and Michigan State in the afternoon. Both trials were remarkably clean and well-organized on the part of Hamilton’s team. With a fervent desire to place well at this tournament, all of Hamilton’s team members were extremely focused and poised throughout these two rounds, which they won unanimously.
Over the course of the weekend, judges remarked about how impressive it was that Hamilton’s team had no coach or legal advisor, and how extraordinary it was to see the students’ passion for the case.
Hamilton’s Mock Trial team members are proud of their success at this tournament, and look forward to the first round of bracketed competition in early February.
The other competing team members were Andrew Fischer ’17, Thomas Duda ’18, Ram Franqui ’19, Samantha Gordon ’19 and Brad Marston ’19.