University of Iowa Mock Trial

UIMT

2019-2020 Season

Spring Semester

National Championship Tournament

Chicago, Illinois
Loyola University Chicago
(Postponed Indefinitely due to COVID-19)

Opening Round Championship Series

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cornell College
March 6th - 8th
(tab summary)

For the second year in a row, Cornell College hosted one of the Opening Round Championship Series Tournaments in Cedar Rapids. This short distance from Iowa City gives UIMT a much appreciated feel of home field advantage during one of the most important tournaments of the season. After a disappointing end to last year's season, this year turned out to be a historic performance by UIMT, continuing a performance to remember from Regionals. After Iowa A and Iowa B showing just how evenly dominating they can be at Regionals, the two teams kept their success rolling at ORCS. What was once common for UIMT had not happened for a decade, but UIMT reignited their national recognition by qualifying two teams for the National Championship Tournament. After this weekend, with more than half the ORCS tournaments completed, UIMT's achievement was matched by only one other program in the nation (UCLA).  With ORCS running a new system of pairing teams  each round, many were curious of how the results might turn out at the end of the tournament. The 24 teams at the tournament were placed into four groups (A, B, C, and D) based on their team power ranking (calculated based on performance from the last three seasons). Team 1372 was placed in group B and 1373 in group C. Every team at the tournament would have to face one team from each of the four groups in an effort to even out the schedules. Despite this system, there was still some room for variability. Iowa B (1373) ended the tournament with the fifth toughest schedule, including a round against the top ranked team at the tournament, University of Chicago. After splitting the two ballots with the seventh ranked team team in the nation, Iowa B went into round four with their destiny firmly in their own hands. A razor thin finish in round four made for a lot of tension during the awards ceremony. Iowa A suffered some tough losses early on and had to compete in round four needing a little luck for their record to be good enough. Three of the last four years Iowa has finished ORCS with a record of 5-3. Twice it was enough to advance and once it wasn't. Iowa A stayed strong and did their job in the final round. Six teams advance out of the tournament and the two Iowa teams were announced as fifth and sixth. Despite the anxiety during awards, this only made the hard earned victory that much more thrilling. With both teams claiming their trophies, it's quite the overwhelming experience when all the competitors are able to celebrate their own success. Beyond this, we also had one individual award. Continuing her stellar performance as the defendant, Serena Qamhieh was awarded as Outstanding Witness for the second tournament in a row. This is the first time since AMTA created the ORCS round of tournaments that a UIMT competitor has been awarded as a witness at both ORCS and Regionals in the same season (this has been accomplished multiple times as an attorney by UIMT  competitors).

Regional Tournament

Lawrence, Kansas
University of Kansas
February 15th & 16th
(tab summary)

Iowa Mock Trial really showed their stuff and had a fabulous weekend at the Regional Tournament down in Kansas. Both teams chased perfection at the tournament but each suffered one loss. Iowa A ended up splitting a pair of ballots with the team finishing in fourth place while Iowa B was undefeated until splitting the pair of ballots in final round. This put our two teams in a three way tie for the best record with the University of Minnesota. While our two teams finished at the front of the pack, we had to settle for 2nd and 3rd Place based on tie-breakers. However, UIMT can't complain too much about finishing near the top of the podium as we still collected our two trophies to the Opening Round Championship Series at the beginning of March. With our A and B teams continuing the success of our C team, UIMT finished the Regional Tournaments with a combined record of 20 - 4, one of our most historic performances at Regionals. Our powerhouse group of competitors also had two individual award winners to add to the celebration. Senior member Serena Qamhieh finished her final Regional Tournament with a pair of awards as she was named both All-Regional Attorney and All-Regional Witness. While Iowa has had a number of competitors win All-Regional honors on both sides of the case, they have frequently been as double-sided attorneys. Serena is the first UIMT competitor since 2009 two be named All-Regional in both roles (attorney and witness). Another senior competitor, Ellen Wandro, has displayed similar dual role talents all year long and was only one rank away from duplicating Serena's accomplishment. Ellen would instead have to settle for only being an All-Regional Attorney, but she clearly dominated as she was tied with one other for the highest attorney ranking at the tournament.

Regional Tournament

Wheaton, Illinois
Wheaton College
February 7th - 9th
(tab summary)

Our C Team kicked off the Regional Tournaments for UIMT by heading to our neighboring state of Illinois and competing in the DuPage County Courthouse, just outside of Chicago. With our C Team competing at their full strength, they showed just how impressive they can be. Right from the start, Iowa C came away with a big win in round 1 over Wheaton A who was at the National Tournament two years ago and was only a few points from being there again last year. Having to finish in the top 6 of 22 teams, there was little margin for error. Our C team's only losses came from Chicago B, a team that was points away from being at Nationals last year and went undefeated at this Regional Tournament. After beating every team they faced other than the tournament champions, Iowa C finished in 5th Place and earned UIMT it's first spot in the next round this season. With six wins and two losses, it was the best record by an Iowa C or D team at Regionals since 2013. This tenacious group was also represented during the individual awards when freshman Zach Springer was awarded as an All-Regional Attorney. Our A and B teams look forward to collecting their own trophies next weekend at their own Regional Tournament hosted by the University of Kansas.

National Invitational
Loras College
January 25th & 26th
(tab summary)

After having the start of our Spring semester hampered by weather, UIMT got back into action at Loras College's historic National Invitational. This tournament was very important as it is our only opportunity this semester to face some competition before the Regional Tournaments. Despite not having a lot of time to prepare, our three teams stepped up and displayed a lot of quality ahead of our upcoming Regional Tournaments. Our C Team had a couple extra hurdles to overcome leading up to the tournament, but they still pulled through to have an encouraging outcome considering the circumstances. Most of their losses were by small margins, as well. The C Team had one award winner as senior member Abby Hudock named Outstanding Attorney. We also saw good success from our B Team as they were only a few points away from finishing as an Honorable Mention. Two of their losses came against the team finishing in fourth place. Iowa A had a strong showing by going through one of the top five toughest schedules at tournament and finished in 5th Place out of 44 teams. This team also had two award winners from two of the leaders in this group. Ellie Hoeper was no surprise as an Outstanding Witness given that she has been winning awards in all three years of her time in UIMT. In fact, her very first award in mock trial was as an Outstanding Witness at the Loras competition three years ago in her first season. Our President, Isabelle, Breitfelder was awarded as an Outstanding Attorney, showing how she is a leader both in and out of competition.

Fall Semester

Illini Invitational
University of Illinois
November 9th & 10th
(tab summary)

All four of our teams competed this weekend, but we split them up between two tournaments. Both groups competing in the state of Illinois, Teams 1373 and 1374 (1372 on the tab summary) traveled to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Team 1374 had a tough start to the tournament in facing the eventual third place and sixth place teams. Despite this, they were able to bounce back and win their last two rounds of the tournament. Team 1373 also had to face the sixth place team, but still finished with a solid record to earn 5th Place at the tournament. That makes two tournaments in a row that 1373 finished with a top five record. Now our competitors will take a break from tournaments until they start to build on their success during the spring semester.

Illinois State University
November 8th - 10th
(tab summary)

All four of our teams competed this weekend, but we split them up between two tournaments. Both groups competing in the state of Illinois, Teams 1372 and 1375 (1373 on the tab summary) traveled to Illinois State University. Similar to last weekend at our home tournament, Team 1372 had the toughest schedule of the competition. Despite this tough road, our veteran team was able to achieve more success as they were two points away from earning third place. Their only other losses were to the first place team. Our other team that was filled with young and hard working competitors also saw some good success that brought them within a few points of being in the trophy discussion. One of the second year members leading this group, Thomas Finn, displayed his talents and was named Outstanding Witness for the second time this year in only his second tournament of the year. Thomas and the rest of 1375 will look to improve on their strong showing as they close out the fall semester.

Cornshucker Challenge
The University of Iowa
November 2nd & 3rd
(tab summary)

This weekend UIMT took a break from traveling and hosted our own tournament in Iowa City with 14 of most elite teams in the midwest. Our A team had a tough time as they had to go through one of the toughest lineups of opponents at the tournament. Because of the exclusivity of our tournament, only the top three teams earned trophies. This caused our B team to just miss earning a trophy as they tied for the 4th best record. Each of our teams had an individual award winner to represent the Hawkeyes during the awards ceremony. To make our tournament more unique, we provided the individual award winners with camping mugs to commemorate this year's case involving Calkins Campground. Vice President, Christian Pint earned his Calkins Campground mug as an Outstanding Witness. Ellen Wandro especially put her talents on full display as she was named the Double Threat Award winner. This is an award given at the Cornshucker Challenge to the competitor who earns the most combined ranks while playing an attorney on one side of the case and a witness on the other side. Ellen is continuing an impression start to her senior year as she has now won an award at her first two tournaments of the year. This also marks three years in a row that an Iowa competitor has earned the Double Threat honor (Sophie Ortiz in 2018 and Megan Koch in 2017).

Richard Calkins Invitational
Drake University
October 19th & 20th
(tab summary)

After sending almost our entire program to WashU last weekend, UIMT sent a team to Drake to get the rest of our competitors to their first tournament of the season. This young team had a great time in our state's capital while improving their mock trial skills. For three of the competitors, this was their first ever collegiate mock trial tournament. However, these three still had some experience from high school and certainly enjoyed testing themselves at the next level. The rest of this crew was made up of members in their second year in the program and showing they know how to get back into rhythm. This team went head to head against schools that are very close to us as well as some from a little further away. They faced our friendly neighbors of Drake and Cornell College, but were also able to compete against South Dakota and Wisconsin. This energetic group showed how they are set up to strong performances during the rest of the season.

Arch Invitational
Washington University in St. Louis
October 12th & 13th
(tab summary)

In one of our favorite tournaments we attend every year, UIMT kicked off its season by competing at the Arch Invitational hosted by Washington University in St. Louis. We sent four teams of 26 total competitors down for their first official tournament of the year. Our competitors went head to head with many familiar foes from the Missouri and Illinois areas. UIMT went 11-7-2 against these schools that we will see often during the rest of the season. We were also able to get experience against schools from a little further away in Rhodes College in Memphis and the University of Tennessee. With WashU being the first tournament of the season, it provides a great opportunity to test out the new case and make our first strides in a long journey of improvement. Even with the focus being put on learning and improving, it still feels good to bring home some trophies. One of our teams of more experienced members battled one of the toughest schedules of the tournament and came away with a 4th Place finish to win our first trophy of the season. Additionally, we had SIX individual award winners, our most since WashU in 2012. Ellen Wandro and Serena Qamhieh showed a strong start to their senior seasons with their performances as the defendant to earn Outstanding Witness Awards. Ellie Hoeper showcased her talents as an attorney with her award while Danica Merrill and Thomas Finn showed their promise their second year in the program holds with their Attorney and Witness Awards respectively. UIMT had 9 new members competing in their first collegiate mock trial tournament and they showed off a lot of talent and future success. This was lead by Tess Paxson as she earned Outstanding Witness honors. While this was Tess' first collegiate tournament, she is certainly no stranger to the activity as she has a number of years of experience in mock trial from high school. We expect we'll see many more awards from our new competitors during the rest of the season. 

Tournament
Results & Awards

Program Record: 86 - 58 - 8

Outstanding Attorneys: 8

Outstanding Witnesses: 10

ORCS Tournament
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cornell College
March 6th - 8th

Team 1372: 5 - 3          6th Place

Team 1373: 5 - 2 - 1     5th Place

(tab summary)

All-National Witness:

Serena Qamhieh

Regional Tournament
Lawrence, Kansas
University of Kansas
February 15th & 16th

Team 1372: 7 - 1     3rd Place

Team 1373: 7 - 1     2nd Place

(tab summary)

All-Regional Attorney -

Ellen Wandro

Serena Qamhieh

All-Regional Witness - 

Serena Qamhieh

Regional Tournament
Wheaton, Illinois
Wheaton College
February 7th - 9th

Team 1374: 6 - 2     5th Place

(tab summary)

All-Regional Attorney -

Zach Springer

National Invitational
Loras College
January 25th & 26th

Team 1372: 6 - 1 - 1     5th Place

Team 1373: 5 - 3

Team 1374: 3 - 5

(tab summary)

Outstanding Attorney -

Abby Hudock

Isabelle Breitfelder

Outstanding Witness -

Ellie Hoeper

Illini Invitational
University of Illinois
November 9th & 10th

Team 1373: 5 - 2 - 1     5th Place

Team 1374: 4 - 3 - 1

(tab summary)

Illinois State University
November 8th - 10th

Team 1372: 5 - 3

Team 1375: 5 - 3

(tab summary)

Outstanding Witness -

Thomas Finn

Cornshucker Challenge
The University of Iowa
November 2nd & 3rd

Team 1372: 1 - 6 - 1

Team 1373: 5 - 2 - 1

(tab summary)

Outstanding Witness -

Christian Pint

Double Threat Award -

(Highest Attorney + Witness Rank)

Ellen Wandro

Calkins Invitational
Drake University
October 19th & 20th

Team 1372: 4 - 4

(tab summary)

Arch Invitational
Washington University
St. Louis
October 12th & 13th

Team 1372: 6 - 2     4th Place

Team 1373: 2 - 6

Team 1374: 2 - 5 - 1

Team 1375: 3 - 4 - 1

(tab summary)

Outstanding Attorney -

Danica Merrill

Ellie Hoeper

Outstanding Witness -

Ellen Wandro

Serena Qamhieh

Tess Paxson

Thomas Finn