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Elon Mock Trial finishes eighth in UCLA tournament

Elon places among top teams at UCLA's UCLAssic Mock Trial Invitational and enters into spring competitive season with top finishes and individual awards at numerous tournaments this past fall.

Elon Mock Trial team 1003 members. From left, Claire Long, Tyler Nikola, Alaina Schukraft, Julia Schast, Baron Smith and Kelsey Shulman.

Elon’s Mock Trial team wrapped up the fall tournament season on Jan. 18-20 by placing eighth out of 40 teams competing at UCLA’s UCLAssic invitational.

Senior Baron Smith also took home an individual outstanding witness award from the tournament. The UCLAssic was the last in a series of four tournaments that Elon’s mock trial teams competed in over the course of the fall semester.

At UCLA, six Elon students competed in four rounds of trial simulations. To earn the eighth-place finish, Elon won in competitive rounds against teams from Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Elon’s successes at UCLA’s tournament were reflective of the Mock Trial team’s performance all season. At Elon’s own Carolina Classic Invitational in October, Elon placed in the top six teams, besting teams from schools such as Duke University. Elon also had a member receive an outstanding witness award at the Carolina Classic. Elon’s sucesss continued at Penn State’s Happy Valley Mock Trial Invitational, coming away with a third place overall finish, winning rounds against Penn State, American University and Rutgers University. Elon also competed at Columbia University’s Big Apple Invitational Tournament in New York City this fall. At Columbia, junior David Comerford won an Outstanding Attorney award and Elon had four competitive rounds against teams from Tufts, Northwood, Columbia and Georgetown Universities.

The final tournament Elon competed at during the fall was Duke University’s Tobacco Road Invitational. Elon narrowly missed a top finish overall after a highly competitive final round against Northwood University. However, at the tournament Elon still won in rounds against teams from the University of Pennsylvania and Howard University. Elon also took home an individual outstanding witness award from Duke’s invitational.  

Elon’s two mock trial teams are currently preparing for a regional tournament hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in February. This tournament will determine which teams move on to compete at the national level. Elon has advanced to the national level of mock trial competition in each of the past three years.

Each February, more than 600 mock trials teams compete in 24 regional tournaments around the country, with seven teams moving on from each regional to one of eight opening round championships in March. From each opening round championship, six teams will move on to compete in the AMTA National Championship Tournament.

From the more than 600 registered AMTA teams, only 48 reach the National Championship Tournament.

The Elon team is coached by Michael Koeltzow, L’10, and Kristen DelForge, a former Elon mock trial member and current 3L at Elon Law. 

Baron Smith,
1/28/2014 11:05 AM