Mock trial team competes at championship tournament
Thursday, March 13, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's varsity Mock Trial Team will start its case for a championship by competing in the Open Round Championship Series Tournament, March 14-16, at Washington University in St. Louis.
The team advanced to the championship series by taking third place at the American Mock Trial Association Regional Qualifier Tournament in February at Washburn University in Topeka. At the event, the team compiled a record of 7-1, beating universities that have law schools and becoming the only school from Kansas to advance to the championship series.
It's the second year in a row that the varsity team will compete in the championship tournament. In existence for only six years, the team has made it to the Open Round Championship Series Tournament three times and has earned both the best attorney and best witness awards.
"The club owes its success to the dedication of its members and coaches," said Bondy Kaye, senior in psychology, Topeka, mock trial club president and member of the varsity team. "The students on this team really go above and beyond what is required at other programs, and I could not possibly say enough about what all our coaches do for us."
With no specific major requirements, the team takes student members from all disciplines at the university. Mock trial events blend public speaking and argumentation with acting and ingenuity. Students are given a case file with facts, evidence and witness statements, but the character development and case theories are entirely up to the students.
"We would love theater students to come and act as witnesses with little quirks and accents," Kaye said. "We love getting fresh perspectives on how to argue the case from different academic fields. Branching out just gives us yet another edge."
Training every weeknight for two to three hours, the varsity Mock Trial Team has been preparing its legal arguments and witness characters for the tournament. It also had public scrimmages between the varsity and the junior varsity and a mock trial retreat where members did intensive preparation work on their roles.
Members of the varsity and junior varsity Mock Trial teams at Kansas State University include:
Arielle Monroe, junior in communications studies, Kansas City, junior varsity; Sarah Haley, senior in psychology, Lawrence, club public relations coordinator, junior varsity; Connor Kring, senior in psychology, Lecompton, team captain, junior varsity; Jessica Van Ranken, freshman in political science, junior varsity, and Ryan Reed, senior in political science, team captain, varsity, both from Lindsborg; Joshua Wilson, senior in communication studies, Manhattan, club vice president, varsity; Haley Claxton, senior in history, club secretary and team captain, junior varsity, and Hale Weirick, senior in economics, varsity, both from Olathe; Torrey Peterson, senior in political science, St. George, team captain, varsity; and Sam Cox, senior in sociology, Wamego, varsity.
From out of state:
Sarah Peterson, sophomore in business administration, Rosemount, Minn., junior varsity; Nick Orth, sophomore in political science, Omaha, Neb., junior varsity; and Brian Vanorsby, graduate in history, Wylie, Texas, club treasurer, varsity.
From out of country: Bingqing Yu, undergraduate in philosophy, China, junior varsity.