For the 21st consecutive time in MMT history, the program will be sending a team to compete in the American Mock Trial Association's National Championship Tournament (NCT). This year, for the first time since 2012, the program will be sending two teams.
On home turf at the Hamilton, OH Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS), MMT's two national teams reminded the mock circuit why Miami remains one of the elite mock trial programs in the nation. Out of the six NCT qualifying bids available in Hamilton, MMT would take two, placing first and second at the tournament.
The A Team, coached by Dan Haughey and Neal Schuett, dropped not a single ballot, winning each of their four rounds by nearly 23 points and finishing with a point differential above 90. Alex Block, garnering his seventh award of the season, was one of three attorneys to win an award with a perfect 20 ranks.
Lawrence Hilton and Missi Schuett's B Team, placing second, finished with a record 6-1-1, bringing their season total to an astounding 36-5-3. Sam Hobbs, a first-year competitor, was named the top witness at the tournament - her second award of the season.
Since regionals began in February, MMT has gone 41-4-3. The program's two national qualifying teams, the A Team and the B Team, have combined for a 30-1-1 record since regionals. No team in the nation can match that success.
"We have shown the country we should be the favorites going into nationals," said senior A Team member Brandon Patterson.
"At the start of the year we were worried about who was doing what and we were trying to figure ourselves out," said A Team co-captain Claire Meikle. "Now we've figured it out. We have a solid core of attorneys that are gonna match up against the best in the country. But our witnesses - they'll always take us over the top."
MMT's two teams will head to Orlando, FL in April where the National Championship Tournament will be hosted by the University of Central Florida. MMT won a national championship title once in 2001.
As Reeti Pal of MMT's B Team put it, "Orlando, here we come!"
The A Team:
Record: 8-0 | CS: 11.5 | OCS: 83 | PD: +91 | Team #: 1158
Coaches: Dan Haughey, Neal Schuett
Competitors: Alex Block, Allie Pickerill, Brad Ouambo, Brandon Patterson, Claire Meikle, Deb O'Neal, Jazmine Kee, Katie O'Keeffe, Lauren Yates, Oliver Zoellner
The B Team:
Record: 6-1-1 | CS: 14.5 | OCS: 73.5 | PD: +39 | Team #: 1159
Coaches: Lawrence Hilton, Melissa Schuett
Competitors: Ben Sandlin, Christina Romine, Elias Demeropolis, Henry Leaman (did not compete), John Spear, Matthew Meeks, Monika Mudd, Najeeb Ahmed, Reeti Pal, Samantha Hobbs
Alex Block (∆, 20 ranks)
Samantha Hobbs (π, ranks)