Because of the further distance, this tournament featured quite a few teams that UIMT rarely sees. Competing at the tournament were programs from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and others. The first two rounds proved to be tough opponents as we had to face the first place and fifth place teams. The same as Team 1396, this group featured two first year members and one member graduating. Shaffer Kirschenmann and Caroline Brown both played witnesses and look to have an excellent start to their UIMT careers. seeing teams from outside our close region will be great experience for them. Sarah Dudley has been in the program for just two years, but she has been one of the most improved members and displayed her talents leading the team. As with Megan, we wish Sarah the best as she moves on from UIMT.
Cedar Rapids and Cornell College have traditionally hosted a regional tournament, so this was a new experience to compete at ORCS so close to home. With the tournament site being just a half hour away from Iowa City, it felt like we were pretty much on our home turf. It was nice to not have to worry about travel with such an important competition. We only had one team competing at Cedar Rapids as the open bid awarded to our other team was for the tournament in Hamilton, Ohio. Our team was looking to build on last year's appearance at the National Championship Tournament, but we came up short. Our competitors fought hard and showed a lot of talent as we had close losses to the first place team. We had two first year members on this team that gained a lot of experience for what we expect to be successful careers moving forward: Danica Merrill as an attorney and Thomas Finn as a witness. Five of the other members on this team were on our nationals team last year. Only one member of the team is graduating this year. UIMT President Megan Koch was able to leave her last ORCS tournament with the honor of All-National Attorney, making it her sixth award of the season. We wish Megan the best as she moves on from UIMT.
The next weekend of Regionals sent our other two teams back to the Kansas City area, but this time to the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Both teams had many young members competing in their first ever regional tournament. Team 1399 had a bit of a roller coast ride of a schedule in the tournament. They faced two tough opponents in the fourth place finisher Nebraska and top tier Northwestern University that went undefeated in the tournament. 1398 suffered razor thin losses that kept them at only being an Honorable Mention. This would get them on a list of "open bids" to the next round which was eventually awarded to UIMT. Similar to last weekend, both teams had an individual award winner. Both Ellen Wandro and Lily Rosen Marvin were named All-Regional Attorneys. Lily is one of our first year members who showed her impressive talents at Regionals.
For the first weekend of Regionals, our top two teams traveled to Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Our teams needed to finish in the top seven to earn a bid to the next round of tournaments. Team 1397 suffered a couple of close losses that caused them to just miss the cut on earning a bid. They beat on of the teams that advanced and also faced the team placing second. Team 1396 dominated the competition to finish in 3rd place and earn UIMT a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series next month. The team's only challenge came in the third round when they faced Creighton University. We split the two ballots with Creighton during that round and it ended up being the only losses for either school. Both Iowa teams had a competitor earning individual honors. Travis Siegel of 1397 as an All-Regional Witness and Sophie Ortiz of 1396 as an All-Regional Attorney.
While three of our teams went south to Missouri, Team 1396 took the longer drive out east to Indiana. This travel allowed our competitors to face a diverse field of teams that we see less often. UIMT was impressive as they won ballots against the strong programs of Michigan and Northwood. The team's only losses were to Miami University and the tournament winner, Dayton. Our round with Dayton was also Dayton's only loss on their way to winning the tournament. 1396 finished in 2nd place and had two award winners. Thomas Finn was another first year member who earned his first individual award with his charming performance. UIMT President Megan Koch was named Outstanding Attorney for her third tournament in a row, giving her five awards during her senior season.
The harsh winter caused UIMT to have a late start to their Spring semester competitions. We had an earlier tournament on the schedule, but decided not to challenge the snowy roads. With competitors shuffled again to get teams ready for Regional competitions, we sent three of our teams down to Missouri. 1399 was a team full of young competitors ready for more experience. They looked strong as their only losses were to the firs place and fifth place teams. They were able to finish as an Honorable Mention and had an Outstanding Witness. First year member Shaffer Kirschenmann stole the spotlight on the witness stand to earn her first award. Team 1398 struggled a bit more to get the winter break rust off, but Isabelle Breitfelder built on the success she had at the end of the fall semester. She won an Outstanding Attorney award to compliment her witness award from the previous tournament. Our more experienced team, 1397, led the pack as they won ballots against three teams that we will see at Regional and they finished in 3rd place. Their two losses were to opponents that finished as honorable mentions.
In the final competition of the fall semester, UIMT hosted our own tournament. We were excited to have high quality teams travel to Iowa City for our historic Cornshucker Challenge. Team 1396 had a good showing to close out the semester. The charismatic Ellie Hoeper was honored as an Outstanding Witness for her entertaining performance. Team 1397 continued its success after winning the previous weekend. They faced elite opponents and earned 3rd place at the tournament. 1397 was impressive as they won ballots against the reigning national champion, Miami University, perennial powerhouse, Rhodes College, and the eventual tournament winner, University of Illinois. Additionally, UIMT had three more award winners on this team. Isabelle Breitfelder was another one of our attention grabbing witnesses. Megan Koch won her second attorney award in as many weekends, giving her four awards on the season. For the second year in a row, a UIMT competitor earned the Cornshucker Challenge Double Threat Award (Megan Koch won it last year). Our All-American Witness again displayed her talents on both sides of the case as she had the highest number of combined attorney and witness ranks, the second time she has done that this season (also at WashU).
This tournament was our last road trip of the semester and also our longest road trip of the semester. Because of this longer travel, UIMT was able to see some teams from a little further away as we faced opponents from the Ohio and Kentucky Regions. The competition hosts put on a great tournament as they were able to procure three judges for each round as opposed to the usual two. Team 1399 started off strong with a 5-1 record after the first two rounds. Unfortunately, they came across the eventual second and third place finishing teams and had the third toughest schedule of the tournament. In spite of this, 1399's Danica Merrill was able to earn honors as an Outstanding Attorney. She is another on of our bright, first year members showcasing her talents. Our other group at the tournament, Team 1397 (1398 on the tab summary) faced some tough opponents and still came out on top with their only loss to the fourth place team. In addition to the 1st place trophy, Iowa was also awarded a wreath and a bottle of milk, in tradition with the Indy 500 race. Pictured above is Travis Siegel passionately drinking from the bottle of milk as UIMT celebrated the tournament win. 1397 also had an Outstanding Attorney named in our President, Megan Koch. that is her third individual award on the season.
After the first few tournaments, the competitors got shuffled around between teams for the rest of the Fall semester. We again sent two teams east into Illinois to compete against some mid-western foes. Team 1398 (1397 on the tab summary) had a familiar story of struggling against a challenging schedule, schedule that included the tournament champion. Team 1396 also had a familiar story (much the same as the very first tournament of the season), but of the better variety. They lost in the first round to the eventual third place team, but then they won all the rest of their ballots and finished in 4th place. 1396 had a lot more to cheer about as they had three award winners to add to their trophy haul. Additionally, UIMT had several competitors join with members of other schools to help comprise the Bye-Buster Team (pictured below). This gave our members extra opportunity to hone their skills. Our competitors made excellent use of this opportunity as they helped the Bye Team finish with a perfect record.
While two of our teams went west this weekend, our other two teams made a short trip east, crossing the border to Dekalb, Illinois. Team 1396 had another solid performance, but came up short again as they faced the eventual second place and fifth place teams. 1396 had an individual award winner as Christian Pint was named Outstanding Attorney with a perfect 20 ranks. Team 1398 (1397 on the tab summary) improved on their Honorable Mention finish from last weekend to top the podium this weekend and earned 1st place at the tournament. Going along with the 1st place trophy, 1398 had two Outstanding Attorneys of their own with Serena Qamhieh and Sarah Dudley. Sarah's honor is especially exciting as she is another competitor in her senior year.
After having the whole program compete together at WashU, we split our teams up to compete at two different tournaments this weekend. Two of our teams stayed in state and made the short trip to Des Moines. Team 1399 (1396 on the tab summary) showed great improvement from their performance last weekend by earning a trophy with 6th place finish. Team 1397 had a tough time of things as they faced the second toughest schedule of the tournament. Despite this, they still had two individual award winners in Emma Kenney and Tia Lawrence. Most excitingly, both of these competitors are first year members receiving their first Outstanding Honors.
In traditional fashion, the whole of UIMT spent a mid October weekend competing at the Arch Invitational. Four teams with a total of 32 competitors caravanned down to St. Louis to once again face some familiar foes. Our new members got their first taste of action against schools they will come to know well in Cornell College, WashU, Rhodes College, and many. Meanwhile, our returning competitors renewed their rivalries against our opponents. Team 1398 was poised to finish in the top three at the tournament, but lost in the last round to the 3rd place finisher and had to settle for an honorable mention. Team 1396 also had a chance to finish in the top five, but came across a strong Rhodes team that went on to win second place. UIMT was still able to walk away with four individual wards. Abby Hudock was named Outstanding Witness for her performance as the defendant. Chase Van Langen also won a witness award while filling in to compete on the Bye Team. The high point came from our returning All-American Witness, Sophie Ortiz, who was named Outstanding as both a witness and attorney. Sophie was tied as the highest ranked attorney at the tournament and only one other competitor at the tournament won double awards, making Sophie tied for most ranks total, as well.
To kick off the 2018 Fall semester, we sent our A team down to Maryville, Missouri for the Bearcat Invitational. This marks the first time since 2010 that UIMT started off the seasons at a tournament other than Washington University in St. Louis' Arch Invitational. But don't worry, we will be competing at WashU next weekend. UIMT took advantage of this early tournament by sending nine of our more experienced members to get rid of the off-season rust before mentoring our new members at WashU. In the first round, Iowa suffered a close loss to the eventual fourth place team. With the defeat behind them, the Hawkeyes went undefeated the rest of the tournament to earn a 3rd place finish. Bringing home a trophy in the first tournament of the year is certainly a confidence boost to the program. UIMT President, Megan Koch also brought some energy to the awards ceremony as she was awarded as both a witness and an attorney. This marks the second year in a row that Megan has won an award in her first tournament of the season and makes for a really good start to her senior season. Interestingly enough, last year's President, Cait Spackman, also won Outstanding honors in the first tournament of the season during both her junior and senior years; also, both Cait and Megan won awards on both sides of the case to start their senior year. And, to top it off, this makes three years in a row with the UIMT President being named Outstanding Attorney in the first tournament of the season (Megan Koch, Cait Spackman, and Abby Ayers).
All-Regional Attorney -
Outstanding Attorney -
Double Threat Award -
(Highest Attorney + Witness Rank)
Outstanding Attorney -
Illinois State University
November 2nd - 4th
Outstanding Witness -
Outstanding Attorney -
Outstanding Attorney -
Outstanding Attorney -
Outstanding Witness -