Hamilton’s Mock Trial team traveled to State College, Pa., and competed in Penn State’s 12th annual Happy Valley Invitational on Oct. 26 to 27. It was a challenging tournament with nationally-ranked teams and a great opportunity for Mock Trial members to practice their arguments and debate skills. This was the second tournament of the season for the team, and also the first competition for the majority of the first-year students on the team. It was a valuable experience for them, as they were able to finally compete and experience Mock Trial after two months of practice.
Hamilton Mock Trial was first challenged by Georgetown University, with Hamilton taking the defense and Georgetown playing prosecution. After two-and-a-half hours of arguing, Hamilton lost both ballots by fewer than 10 points, but learned many ways in which to improve their case. On Saturday afternoon, Hamilton faced Penn State, with Hamilton on prosecution and Penn State on the defense; Hamilton tied with Penn State, winning one ballot and losing the other. After an evening of revisions and edits, Hamilton faced University of Portland in the morning; after fierce arguing, Hamilton lost both ballots. Finally, Hamilton took the defense and faced University of Georgia as prosecution, winning both ballots after a lengthy trial.
Earlier this semester, Hamilton Mock Trial was also invited to attend the Scarlet & Gray Invitational hosted by the Ohio State University. The team faced University of Michigan, ranked fifth in the nation, and split the two ballots with them. The team competed against Loyola University Chicago, Notre Dame University, and Indiana University; at the end of the tournament, Hamilton won four ballots.
Hamilton Mock Trial has two more invitationals left this fall season and hopes to perfect their case by the spring season, when they will begin to compete for nationals which will take place in Chicago.
This year’s team is led by the two co-captains, Emma Liles ’21 and Ryan Stewart ’21. The competing members included Isabelle Mosbarger ’20, Grecia Santos ’20, John Rutecki ’22, Elise Wilson ’22, David Jordan ’22, Miranda Harrigan ’22, Peri Kessler ’22, Brooke Kessler ’22, Thomas Betts ’23, Kiley Hartman ’23, Nicholas Garvey ’23, McKinley Abernethy ’23, Cole Kuczek ’23, and Quinn Jones ’23.