MMT Poised to Make Statement with Rounds in DC and IL
All four MMT teams will compete this weekend. Three in Normal, IL at Illinois State University's Twelfth Annual Mock Trial Tournament and one in Washington, DC at the University of Virginia's Great American Mock Trial Invitational (GAMTI).
In the nation's capitol, Miami's A Team, coached by Dan Haughey and Neal Schuett, will be looking to establish some dominance after a 5-3 fourth place finish in Louisville last weekend. But the competition at GAMTI, one of the season's premier tournaments, will be the hardest any MMT team has seen this year. Last year's national champions, Florida State University, and perennial mock trial powerhouses like Rhodes and UCLA will be in attendance.
The A Team struggled to differentiate themselves from their opponents in Louisville, splitting the first three rounds until they swept in round four. Miami A will look to carry that momentum into round one at GAMTI. All-American witness and team captain Claire Meikle will rejoin the squad after having to miss last weekend's competition and Alex Block, hot off an outstanding attorney award in Kentucky, will look to lead the team to a first place finish.
"We're still gonna be experimenting with roles and who's doing what. But I don't think that means we don't have a shot. We do. And if we put it all out there we've got a good shot," said veteran witness Zowoi Malakpa.
At GAMTI, competitors are evaluated by three scoring judges instead of the normal two and trials are held within the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse. Miami A will fly to DC on Friday and compete in two rounds on Saturday and two rounds on Sunday. For round one, team's will challenge each other. Miami has the 8th challenge.
The B Team and both of MMT's two developmental teams, the All-American Redirects and Jamaican Justice, will also travel on Friday. But they will be expected to compete Friday evening where at Illinois State the tournament will feature a round on Friday, then two on Saturday and a final round on Sunday.
"This is our chance to really make a statement," said B team witness Taylor Seay.
The B Team, one of the strongest B teams on paper in Miami's history, will be competing for the first time this year. Coaches Lawrence Hilton and Missi Schuett have high expectations for a squad that boasts an unusually elite veteran presence. Last year, Miami finished second at Illinois State. The B Team hopes to exceed that standard this weekend.
At Illinois State, Dan Herron's Jamaican Justice will also be competing for the first time this year. For the All-American Redirects, Illinois will be their second tournament of the season. After going 0-4 on day one in Louisville, the All-American Redirects responded with a split and sweep in their final two rounds. They too will look to carry that positive momentum into competition this weekend.
More about the Miami teams competing here.
More about GAMTI here.
More about the Illinois State tournament here.