This weekend, fanning across the country to three seperate states, all four MMT teams will compete. The A Team leaves Friday for Brooklyn, New York where they will perform at the season's most competitive tournament yet - NYU's the Downtown Invitational. In Atlanta, GA, the B Team will compete at Georgia Tech's Ramblin' Wreck Tournament and in Bloomington, IN, MMT's two developmental teams, the All-American Redirects and Jamaican Justice, will face off at Indiana University's Hoosier Hoedown.
Dan Haughey and Neal Schuett's all seniors A Team, with a record of 17-17-2, has been on an upward trajectory since the season's start. "We've seen incremental growth at each tournament. Now the Downtown is the one tournament where we can really break out of our shell and make some noise," said All-Star witness Deb O'Neal.
The A Team capped off the first half of the season with a respectable fifth place finish at UC-Irvine's Beach Party Invitational but a first-place trophy has eluded the squad all year long. The Downtown marks the team's best opportunity yet to put Miami in a position to build momentum going into Regionals. With five scoring judges in each round and a field comprised of 16 of AMTA's best mock trial teams, success at the Downtown demonstrates a team's strength more so than any other tournament. This year, Miami is ninth in the challenge order. The team finished sixth at last year's Downtown.
For Lawrence Hilton and Missi Schuett, Georgia Tech's 9th Annual Ramblin' Wreck Tournament presents another opportunity for the B Team to dominate. Sitting at 14-4-3, their squad has managed to place at every tournament they've attended. With a strong finish in Atlanta, the B Team will be well positioned to enter the competitive season with a real chance of earning a bid to Nationals.
"We've been on top of our game all year long. We need to make a few adjustments, bring our confidence to the table and we should be leaving Atlanta with a first place trophy," said B Team captain Matt Meeks.
In Bloomington, MMT's two developmental teams will continue to explore the mock trial circuit. Dan Herron's Jamaican Justice saw steady improvement at their last tournament and after some substantial adjustments feel they are better positioned than ever to finish with a winning record. For Laura Tholke and Jaime Glinka's the All-American Redirects, who sit at 13-10-1 on the season, first place, out of the 31 teams expected to compete, is a realistic expectation.
"We had nearly a month off of school," said Jamaican Justice witness Oliver Zoellner, "but we're all ready to get back into the swing of things. If we play loose and put our hearts into this, we will do well. We have the talent."
"We might be in three separate states, but we have just one goal," said A-Team All-American Alex Block, "winning."
More about the Miami teams competing here.
More about the Downtown here.
More about the Ramblin' Wreck here.
More about the Hooiser Hoedown here.