Mock Trial team advances to State Competition

The team beat St. John's Prep in the Super Region Rounds to advance to State on March 3-4

The Bison Varsity Mock Trial team advanced to the State A Competition on Thursday after defeating St. John’s Prep at the Super Region 1-3 Rounds.

The virtual meet, held on Zoom, featured the Bison on defense and the Johnnies as the plaintiffs in a civil case. Each member of the Bison needed to compete as a team while separated into their own homes due to COIVD-19 precautions. A strong full-team performance, including the lawyers and witnesses, pushed the team to victory. Every member of the team scored at minimum a 7 out of 10 for their performances, with Sophomore Victoria Viteri, Junior Megan Nowezki, and Junior Amelia Anderson delivering especially strong performances. Anderson, competing as a witness as an alternate, received scores of 8 and 9 from all judges.

“We had been spending days preparing for this competition,” Junior Sam Cotton, who competed as an attorney on Thursday, said. “We had continuous run-throughs for both sides, making sure that each side was fully prepared by going against the other, knowing that, by the time we were ready to compete, we would be in the best shape we could possibly be in. In essence, it was iron sharpening iron.”

The strong performance at the Regional Rounds propelled the Bison to a first-place finish in the 19-team Super Region. The Bison will compete in the State Competition on March 3 and 4. The meet will also be virtual.

“It doesn’t feel like we’re going to State,” Junior Kate Manninen, competing as a witness on the defense, said. “It feels like I’m just continuing to sit at my computer. There’s no walking into a courtroom. There are no bus rides. There are no late-night practices. It’s just going into my room, shutting the door, and sitting in front of my computer. It doesn’t feel real. It’s not what I know. In the past, we’d have a big celebration, and now we’re just not. It’s not as exciting, but I’m not mad about it. My mom always takes pictures of me before every meet, and I always get text messages from her before meets saying, ‘I’m cheering you on from work’ because she can’t go to meets now. Now that I’m going to State, she calls me her ‘Little Champion’, and having that person who does remind me about how, even though it doesn’t feel normal, we’re still doing great and she’s still supporting me, it reminds me that it actually is a big deal and that we are going to State.”

Junior Sydney Rhodes, Sophomore Brady Zimmerman, Senior Maddie Christensen, Junior Daphnie Grambart, Junior Alexander Dewees, and Junior Abigail Bertsch will join Manninen, Cotton, Anderson, Nowezki, and Viteri at the State Competition. The varsity team is coached by Jason Swanson with assistance from lawyer Karen Wolff.

Photo by Sydney Rhodes

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