In the nation's capital, MMT's A Team finished 6-9-1 and failed to place last weekend at what was the season's most competitive tournament yet.
It was a disappointing finish for a team that headed into the University of Virginia's Great American Mock Trial Invitational (GAMTI) with hopes of contending for a spot in the top five. But considering the degree to which the team was still experimenting with witness calls and attorney roles, it may have been a result Miami should have expected. While the inconsistency provided coaches Dan Haughey and Neal Schuett with an opportunity to assess a large number of competitors in a variety of roles, it also hindered the team's ability to build momentum.
"We knew going into the tournament we still had a lot of unanswered questions," said veteran A team witness Deb O'Neal. "We thought we'd be able to overcome those obstacles but I think there was just too much going on."
"Part of the problem is almost having too much talent," said co-captain David Payne who has played two witnesses and an attorney this year. The A Team is comprised of all seniors who collectively boast 28 years of college mock trial experience and 59 individual awards. "We have a lot of people that can do a lot of things and so we're testing everyone out," Mr. Payne said.
Experimentation will no longer be the name of the game. The Monday after GAMTI, coaches were already busy brainstorming what changes they'd make. By the end of the week, final competitor roles will be assigned. Those roles will remain in place through November when MMT A heads to compete in California at the Beach Party Invitational.
At GAMTI, competitors were evaluated by four scorning judges instead of the normal two. Miami was swept by NYU in their first of two rounds on Saturday. In the next two trials, the A Team would go 6-1-1 positioning themselves for an extraordinary comeback depending on what they did in round four. But versus a University of Virginia team that would end up tying for first, Miami would again drop all four and finish 6-9-1. Out of a total of 560 points across four ballots, Miami would lose the final trial by only a total of 14 points.
Lauren Yates, who earlier this season won an award at The Ohio State University's Scarlet and Gray Invitational, was awarded as one of twelve outstanding witnesses at GAMTI.
Record: 6-9-1 | CS: 29.5 | OCS: 131 | PD: -17 | Team #: 992
Coaches: Dan Haughey, Neal Schuett
Competitors: Alex Block, Allie Pickerill, Brad Ouambo, Brandon Patterson, Claire Meikle, David Payne, Deb O'Neal, Dylan Grafe, Lauren Yates, Zowoi Malakpa
Outstanding Witnesses :
Lauren Yates ( π 30 Ranks)