The Mock Trial team started with a strong season, placing first at the Norcal Tournament with two attorneys, senior Tiffany Tam and Makayla Conley (pictured above), both placing in the top three for individual attorney awards. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Tam.
By Clara Guthrie
The varsity Mock Trial team was victorious at the Norcal Annual Tournament hosted by Menlo this past weekend, Jan. 6-7. Menlo created this tournament eight years ago, winning for the first time since January of 2015.
Beating 16 teams from throughout California gave the team a boost of confidence going forward in their season. “Winning this tournament sends a message to the rest of the state that we are a serious contender,” senior Ben Shaw said.
This win was made even sweeter due to Menlo’s defeat of one of their biggest rival teams: Trinity High School. “Last year we were in a final round against Trinity and they beat us,” junior Melody Zhou said. “This year, we were in a rematch scenario and we beat them.”
According to the team, the Norcal Annual Tournament is the second largest tournament of the year behind the statewide championship. “[This] win, as a team, [...] showed us that we have what it takes to win the State Championship this year,” senior Rishi Varma said. Menlo has not won State Championships since 2014, placing fifth last year at the tournament.
In addition to the confidence-boosting overall team award, individual awards were handed out to multiple Menlo team members this past weekend. These individual awards were given to attorneys, witnesses, bail clerks and pre-trial attorneys who scored the highest amount of points through their work. This year, a staggering five Menlo witnesses and two Menlo attorneys received awards. “This is a really good sign because it shows we have the talent and depth to go the distance this year,” Shaw said.
Looking to the future, the varsity team is looking to stay on top for all of their future tournaments, especially the coveted State Championships first place spot. “With county coming up in [two] weeks, and hopefully State soon after that, we have the drive and motivation we need from this win to push through the rest of the season,” Shaw said.