It was a tough weekend for the Hawkeyes as we came up just short of advancing to National Championship Tournament. Unofficially, Iowa A finished 8th place and only the top 6 advance. Iowa B faced the second strongest schedule of the tournament which put them against three of teams that ended up advancing. It's always hard to end the season short, especially for the seniors (pictured below: Nick Sinclair, Abby Ayers, Sam Kaplan, Jake Huebener). All four of our seniors were able to finish things out together playing key roles on the A Team. Nick Sinclair is full of character and one of the most entertaining witnesses to pass through UIMT in recent years. Our President, Abby Ayers, is a real go-getter and a fierce leader serving as the level-headed attorney to lead both sides of the case. Sam Kaplan is always a delight in the way she employs her teaching abilities to play a friendly, relatable witness or a compassionate advocate as an attorney. Jake Huebener, also a teacher, made excellent use of his enthusiasm and "nerdyness" to be the helpful expert on both sides. While things may not have turned out how we wanted, Iowa A was able to cap the season with a stellar round against our friendly, local rival WashU. A somewhat fitting end to face the school where we start our season every year. There was also a bright spot in the performance of Junior, Cait Spackman, who was an Outstanding Attorney. She earned that honor at all four competitions of the spring semester which put her season total to five. As a Junior, Cait will look to push for even greater success next year during her senior season. Many of our young members made great strides this year and will work to improve even more next year. We had one first-year on the A Team and seven competed on the B Team. This talented group will ensure UIMT doesn't come up short again.
Iowa C closed out their Invitational Season with a solid weekend at Loras College. This was the 29th Annual National Invitational and it featured a field of 39 teams. Iowa C will see 10 of those teams again at the Cedar Rapids Regional Tournament on February 11th and 12th. We finished better than half of those teams and beat the only team we faced from that group. The Hawkeyes battled hard and had some good rounds against quality teams, such as DePaul University and St. Louis University. We look forward to preparing diligently for the regional tournament that is just a short drive away. We will need to finish in the top seven in order to earn a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series. This team is full of young talent and ready to succeed.
We sent two of our teams down to Joplin, Missouri to compete with some quality teams at MSSU. This tournament featured an unorthodox format of having two rounds on Friday and two rounds on Saturday. Everyone felt really good to finally be competing again and have a chance to shake off the rust from winter break. It was especially thrilling to experience some success and bring home some trophies. Our C Team showed a lot of tenacity and finished with a very respectable record of five and a half wins to earn 5th place. The B Team brought home the 4th place trophy and showed a lot of encouraging signs by splitting ballots in head to head matchups with teams that finished first and third. The Iowa members especially enjoyed all the standing up and applauding as UIMT was represented with four total individual awards. Our president, Abby Ayers (pictured), won her second attorney award on the season and third total this year. Veteran Neil Logan was awarded as an outstanding witness and we had two freshman, Elizabeth Rome and Megan Koch, win their first individual awards.
We had a great weekend at our first tournament of the season! It was a very familiar start as this marks at least six years in a row now that UIMT has began the season at WashU. We competed against teams that we see frequently such as Cornell College and WashU, but we also went against a school from out of the region in Eastern Kentucky University. We experienced success with Team 1238, captained by Samantha Kaplan and Mikayla Rodgers, earning 5th place at the tournament. UIMT had an impressive achievement in taking home five individual awards, which is more than any single tournament last year. All in all, it was superb first tournament weekend. Our veterans were able to get back in the swing of things and our new members got their first taste of action. We saw a lot of great moments from our new members that we really hope to build on. Most notably, freshman Colin Gorton came away with an outstanding witness award in his first ever collegiate mock trial tournament. Our returners are also eager to take this weekend's experiences and use them to achieve even more success at our upcoming tournaments.