North’s mock trial team achieved eighth place at this year’s National Mock Trial championships held in Reno, Nevada from May 11 to May 12.
46 teams of 11 competing members each from around the country participated in the championship, which took place in federal courthouses in Reno. Teams took part in trial scrimmages and two official trials on May 11, followed by another two official trials, and the results of these trials determined the winners and top placers.
“Going into the championship, I thought, and probably much of our team thought, that you would have to be very serious and only focused on mock trial to place,” said senior Ilai Gavish, a mock trial captain with junior Jeanne Duong. “Yet we were able to have so much fun at mock trial Nationals while still meeting a lot of success.”
This success included a top ten placing, as well as an unforgettable academic and social experience, according to Duong. Two years ago, the team also made nationals, placing 31.
“The team put in more work and time this year, which really made a difference,” said Duong. “To prepare we began to add meetings and lengthen the meetings. For mock trial, you can’t use notes while you are participating, which only allows us to memorize our notes, which requires extra time and effort.”
Leading up to the trials, Duong said the team held frequent meetings to prepare for the nationals case, which they only had two months to do so.
Throughout the school year, the mock trial team received three different cases: one for the Garden City meet at the beginning of the season, followed by the state competition case, and the nationals case. According to Duong, for every case, the team dissected the information given, and prepared both sides of the case. The side that the team argues for was determined during the trials themselves.
Aside from the long hours of hard work put into preparing for nationals, the team members displayed a lot of enthusiasm, which led to the great results, according to Gavish.
“Last year was a year of re-building, but the level of interest and talent from the new members was extraordinary,” said Gavish. “Because of that, this year we had an extreme amount of depth, and the amount of passion, dedication, and sense of community the team had also contributed to our success.”
These characteristics also enabled the team to win five rounds at the state-wide competition, which allowed them to compete at nationals. The North team pulled ahead of 32 other teams in Massachusetts to become the top team in the state.
At nationals, Duong said the team was able to meet many new people outside of Massachusetts from around the country, and form friendships with other teams.