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Mock Trial Team qualifies for nationals

March 31, 2022

Northwood University is proud to announce its Mock Trial Team recently qualified for the 2022 National Championship Tournament, which will be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Northwood earned its opportunity to compete at the national tournament after facing four teams at the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) Tournament on March 20 in DeKalb, Illinois.

The following students participated in the ORCS tournament:

  • Lukas Baker, Belmont

  • Aidan Garvie, Elk Grove, California

  • Riley Hayer, Clare

  • DeLorean Ishmon, Eastpointe

  • Teagan O’Bryan, Lapeer

  • Theodore (Ted) Schultz, Mason

  • Pietro Vitale, Woodhaven

  • J. Austin Wolfe, Cincinnati, Ohio

Northwood won an additional award that is not based on win-loss record or number of points scored in a trial: The 2022 Spirit of AMTA Award. This title is awarded for exemplifying the ideals of honesty, civility and fair play before, during and after the trial.

In addition to the team success, Northwood junior DeLorean Ishmon, Eastpointe, earned an Outstanding Witness Award.

This academic year, 718 teams registered with the American Mock Trial Association. Each of these teams were offered an opportunity to attend one of AMTA’s Regional tournaments held in February. Based on their win-loss record at one of the February Regional tournaments, only 192 of those teams earned the privilege of competing at one of the eight March qualifier tournaments called the Opening Round of Championships (ORCS). Following Sunday’s award ceremony, the final members of the top 48 teams were invited to participate in the national tournament in April. To see the entire list of 48 teams invited to this year’s national tournament, visit the NCT Earned Bid List.

“Our students worked very hard to prepare for ORCS,” said DeLois T. Leapheart, director of Northwood’s Mock Trial Program. “Most spent the majority of their spring break working to improve their skills. Their hard work paid great dividends. It was a joy to see them blossom to a new level of skills at ORCS. Each opponent we faced was well prepared and demonstrated excellent knowledge of the case, rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, and many other skills. By God’s grace, this is our fifth consecutive year qualifying for the national tournament. Now the real work begins: Preparing an entirely new case for the national tournament, which is less than a month away.”

Leapheart noted the team is grateful to Northwood University alums Stephen Dunn and Kristopher Murphy for their help with coaching this academic year, as well as many other alumni and friends who helped by judging rounds or sharing their knowledge with our students. Also, the team thanks the Midland Fire Department for providing a tour that helped students improve their grasp of the arson case that has been used during the invitational, regional and ORCS tournaments.

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