Mock Trial Qualifies for Nationals for First Time

    After placing in the top 8 in the San Diego regional competition held in February, the UCSD teams were two of 24 to advance to the Irvine open regional championship, or ORC. To qualify for nationals, teams must be ranked in the top six of the 24 competing at the Irvine ORC, which is the only one on the West Coast.

    “The Irvine ORC is considered to be one of the toughest, if not the toughest, in the country,” mock trial co-president Ayelet Bitton said. “UCLA — the reigning national champion — is there, USC, a top 15 team, is there, UC Irvine, a top 15 team, is there. The gods have to be going in your favor to get out of the Irvine ORC.”

    The teams have competed in Irvine for the past two years, but left without a qualifying bid each time. This year, they came in second to UCLA and are headed to Minnesota in April.

    “The students spend hundreds of hours practicing and pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets every year to compete in tournaments across the country, all without receiving any school credit,” volunteer coach David Lichtenstein wrote in an email. “I could not be more proud.”

    The team is currently fundraising the $3500 necessary for the team to compete at nationals, which will be held April 13 to 15 at Hamline University in Saint Paul. A.S. Council voted at its March 14 meeting to loan $4050 to the group, interest-free. The team has until June 30 to pay off the loan.

    “We put in hundreds of hours  practicing each week— I feel like I’m a full-time mock trial competitor, and do school and work on the side, so we really need the support,” Bitton said. “That said, this victory is well-deserved. We’ll go to nationals and we’ll do well.” 

     Find more information about the team at mocktrial.ucsd.edu.

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