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Elon Mock Trial to compete in national championship series

Elon University’s Mock Trial program competes March 21-23, 2014, at the American Mock Trial Association’s Opening Round Championship Series Tournament hosted by Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

Back row from left: Julia Schast, Jennifer McRobert, Tyler Nikola, David Comerford and John Gavin. Front row from left: Rebecca Mutty, Claire Long, Alaina Schukraft and Baron Smith. 

Elon’s team advanced to the opening national level of competition after placing among the top seven teams in February at an American Mock Trial Association regional tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C. It marks the fourth year in a row that Elon has advanced to the national level of competition.

In Greenville, nine Elon students will compete in four rounds of trial simulations against teams from other institutions such as Duke University, Harvard University, Georgetown University, Emory University, and Washington and Lee University. The top six teams will advance to AMTA’s National Championship Tournament in mid April.

Two Elon teams competed at the Chapel Hill AMTA regional tournament and brought home several team and individual awards. Aside from having the third best team competition record at the tournament, senior Julia Schast and sophomore John Gavin earned outstanding attorney awards, while senior Baron Smith earned an award for outstanding witness.

The team attending the March 21-23 tournament in Greenville is comprised of Elon students from a variety of undergraduate majors and class standings: seniors Julia Schast, Claire Long, Baron Smith and Tyler Nikola; juniors Rebecca Mutty and Jennifer McRobert; sophomores David Comerford and John Gavin; and first-year Alaina Schukraft make up the team competing this weekend.

Elon competed in five invitational tournaments in the fall, including the Carolina Classic held on Elon’s campus, in preparation for a spring schedule that determined which universities would be invited to the opening round tournament.

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’13 and Kristen DelForge, a former Elon mock trial member and current third-year student at Elon Law. 

Baron Smith,
3/20/2014 1:25 PM