This past semester has been a busy one, in the world of mock trial. As with any semester, there have been ups, downs, and events that threw us all for a loop, but, more than anything, it has been a blast! Let’s take a look at what UT Mock Trial has accomplished this year so far!
Our first team to travel to a competition this semester, captained by Grady McGinnity and Alex Wampler, went to St. Louis, Missouri. The nearly 8-hour drive was spent practicing the materials and playing car games, preparing for one tough competition.
That weekend began with excitement and, of course, a healthy amount of nervousness, but nothing could keep this team down. Spirits were high for the entire weekend, and they even found some time to visit the St. Louis Arch to snap some fun team photos, all while laughing about their inside jokes and funny comments they made during the competition.
Grady and Alex’s team came away with the Warren J. Davis Civility Award that weekend, an award given to the team that exemplified the true spirit of the American Mock Trial Association. In addition, two members of this team won individual awards: an outstanding witness award for Grady, and an outstanding attorney award for Maryellen Wooten.
Our next team to go to competition was captained by Sydney Selman and Kyle Mangrum, a powerful duo who lead their team at the competition in Elon, North Carolina. Their weekend began bright and early as they left Knoxville at 8am on the first day, preparing for their first round on Friday, two rounds on Saturday, and one more on Sunday.
This team was definitely there to win, but that didn’t stop them from having some fun, too! They made sure there was plenty of time for team-bonding during the trip, and even played a game of Red Flags at Texas Roadhouse.
At the end of the weekend, Sydney and Kyle’s team traveled back to Knoxville with a tough competition under their belts. Plus, Kyle won a well-deserved outstanding attorney award!
Our third team traveled to The College of William & Mary in Virginia. This team, captained by Jacob Lovin and Jenna Santero, was ready for anything! Both of these captains were very familiar with this competition, and they prepared their team for a challenging, but fun, weekend.
The competition began smoothly, each member ready to win. Despite accidentally leaving the pre-trial binder at the hotel (and sending Jacob back for it before the round started), this team still powered through the weekend epically, holding their own at a tough competition.
When the weekend was over, Jacob and Jenna’s team came away with three individual awards: an outstanding attorney award for Jenna and outstanding witness awards for Jacob and Evan Mukherji.
Each team’s competition had its highs and its lows, but they were all leading up to our favorite time of the semester: the Middle Tennessee State University Invitational. At this competition, all three of our teams traveled to Murfreesboro to compete, and, hopefully, take home the famous gavel.
The teams split up into their respective cars and took off, ready for a fun weekend of mock trial. It began smoothly, with all three teams meeting up for lunch before the first round commenced. The dining area was filled with the sound of chatter, everyone either practicing or making jokes about this year’s case.
There were, of course, some struggles throughout the weekend; some members were feeling sick, some case documents somehow went missing, but, ultimately, everyone powered through and had a great time!
That weekend, UT Mock Trial came home with more than one award: outstanding attorney awards went to Grady McGinnity, Kyle Mangrum, and Maryellen Wooten; outstanding witness awards went to Grady McGinnity and Sarah Batten; plus, Grady and Alex’s team came away with an honorable mention for the Spirit of AMTA award.
With this semester’s competitions complete, we made sure that we all got together at least once more before winter break. UT Mock Trial gathered one last time for the semester at the Paper Plate Awards, hosted by Alex Wampler and Maryellen Wooten. Each member received at least one award, either for something great or something funny they had done this semester. There may have been a mishap with the hot cocoa and the cups from which to drink it, but overall, it was a great way to end our semester of mock trial.
This fall season has been one for the books, made great not only by our returning members, but by our new members as well. Each and every member of UT Mock Trial has contributed to this wonderful semester, and we can’t wait to see what we can achieve in the spring!
And remember: live UTMT, love UTMT!