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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Mock Trial Argues way to Nationals

After placing 3rd at Regionals, Grinnell’s Mock Trial A team is headed to the Opening Round Championships (ORCS) at Washington University in St. Louis on March 16th.

“ORCS is like the playoffs,” Michael Horecki ’12 said. “The top 7 teams there will advance to nationals.”

Grinnell’s team is no stranger to the national stage of competition—three years ago they competed and performed well, even beating Brown University. Jessi Addison ’12 was the only first year on the team.

“[Beating Brown] was sort of our crowning achievement,” Addison said. “It’s not every day that a tiny liberal arts college like Grinnell goes against an Ivy League and wins.”

The team can expect more tough competition in March when they head to Wash. U.

“Loyola, Drake, the University of Iowa and other institutional powerhouses will be there,” Horecki said.”But we have a very strong team. It’s going to be fun to go up against really competitive schools…they’ll push us to the next level.”

The 7-person team now has 5 weeks to prepare for the tournament. They say they are focusing on consistency and exacting their courtroom etiquette to minimize the possibility of judge intervention and an early loss.

ORCS is the capstone of a successful year for the Mock Trial squad. Despite not having a coach or administrative advisor, recruitment was successful and 6 first years joined. This depth will help minimize the impact of 5 seniors graduating. However, despite the new recruits, the team has a reputation among the Mock Trial community for being quite small and informal.

“Historically Grinnellians have been among the scruffiest-looking at tournaments,” Addison said. “Male attorneys have had untrimmed beards and big hair.”

Despite the aesthetic informality, the team is known for its fair play.

“We’ve won the Sportmanship award 7 out of the 8 past tournaments,” Hornecki said. “In Mock Trial there’s a lot of room to bend the rules and get away with it. Grinnell’s defining trait is that we’re nice and we play by the rules…and we still win.”

Two first years, Peter Bautz and Juli Toia, will accompany the five fourth years to ORCS.

“I think it will be interesting, I’ve been to national tournaments in high school but never in college,” Bautz said.

“[Going to ORCS] is really exciting,” Toia said. “I’m ready to experience the higher level of competition. [But] it’s not just about winning, it’s about having fun while playing other great teams.”

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