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Mock Trial competes at Ohio State University tournament

November 3, 2022

Northwood University’s Mock Trial Team competed at the 2022 Ohio State University Mock Trial Tournament, Oct. 29-30 in Columbus, Ohio.

“This tournament attracted teams from around the nation, including several Big 10 teams,” explained DeLois Leapheart, director of Northwood’s Mock Trial Program.

Northwood won a scoring judge’s ballot and tied the other in their first trial against Swarthmore College. In their second trial, NU also won a scoring judge’s ballot and tied the other in their trial against Northwestern. In their third trial against one Notre Dame team, NU tied on one judge’s ballot but narrowly lost the other judge’s ballot. In the final trial of the tournament, against a different Notre Dame team, NU won a judge’s ballot and narrowly lost the other.

“Our students finished with a record of three wins, three ties and two losses,” Leapheart noted.

The students who represented Northwood at OSU are as follows:   

• Lukas Baker of Belmont

• Teagan O’Bryan of Lapeer

• Riley Hayer of Clare

• J. Austin Wolfe of Cincinnati, Ohio

• Pietro Vitale of Woodhaven

• DeLorean Ishmon of Eastpointe

• Gnanasai (Sai) Vepa of Canton

• Julian Lee of Macomb

• Jaleigh Beckert of Westerville, Ohio

Ishmon won an Outstanding Witness Award. This is the third consecutive time Ishmon has won this award this semester.

“This was the first tournament we attended this fall that was held in a courthouse,” Leapheart explained. “Competitors in mock trials always endeavor to demonstrate elite critical thinking and communications skills. However, when the trials occur in a courtroom, the level of intensity goes up a notch — but the collegiality remains the same.”

Leapheart noted one of the intangible benefits for students who compete in mock trial for four years is that they effortlessly build an expansive network with students of different majors, backgrounds, and interests from colleges around the U.S.

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