Georgia Tech Mock Trial Places Second in Division, Fourth Overall at The American Mock Trial Association National Championship

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Summary Sentence:

Over the weekend of April 21-23, 2017, the Georgia Tech Mock Trial (GTMT) team competed in the 33rd American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championship Tournament.

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  • GTMT 17 A GTMT 17 A
  • GTMT 17 B GTMT 17 B
  • GTMT 17 C GTMT 17 C

Over the weekend of April 21-23, 2017, the Georgia Tech Mock Trial (GTMT) team competed in the 33rd American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championship Tournament.  The competition was held in Los Angeles, California, where it was hosted by UCLA in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.  
GTMT entered the tournament with a 16-0 record in AMTA competitions this season – the only undefeated such team in the entire country. AMTA competitions began with regional tournaments in February and Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) tournaments in March. Nearly 700 mock trial teams competed in AMTA during the 2017 season, and only 48 of those 700 teams advanced to the National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles. Just by making it to Los Angeles, GTMT already qualified as one of the top-ranked teams in the country. 

Led by graduating seniors Ali Foreman, Chandler Matz, Sutton Birch, and Troy Kleber, along with third-year students, Sarah Stebbins, Emma Smith, and Megan Miller, the Los Angeles-bound team is coached by local attorneys and part-time lecturers at Georgia Tech, Will Warihay and Andy McNeil. This impressively balanced leadership hinted at great future success on the ultimate stage. 
During the first three rounds of the national competition, GTMT went against teams from Pennsylvania State University, the University of Richmond, and the University of Virginia.  After these three rounds, GTMT was 8-1 and in first place in their division going into the semifinal round in which they were matched up with defending national champions, Yale University. The winner of the trial would win the division and advance to the National Final Round. 

Ultimately, by a 2-1 decision of the judges, GTMT was narrowly ousted by Yale by just a few points; however, all judges agreed that both teams were fantastic and worthy of advancing of the final round.  In comments after the trial, the presiding judge, who is a sitting Judge in LA Superior Court, lamented that she wished both teams could advance, as she deemed it the best trial she had ever seen.

At the conclusion of the tournament, GTMT finished the National Championship Tournament with a 9-3 record, which was good for second place in their division and fourth place overall. In addition to the team’s overall success, Sarah Strebbins earned her second All-American Attorney Award, while Sutton Birch earned an All-American Witness Award. 

Perhaps the ultimate cherry-on-top for GTMT’s historic season lies in their final AMTA national ranking of fourth in the country out of nearly 700 teams. To put this feat in perspective, GTMT finished the 2014 campaign unranked in these metrics, as they had not advanced beyond the regional tournaments in recent years. GTMT showed progress in 2015, however, finishing the season ranked 184th in the country, followed up by an even more remarkable improvement with a final national ranking of 20th in 2016. 

The fourth-overall final national ranking is the highest that GTMT has ever claimed, and the team is excited about repeating this success during their 2017-18 campaign. 
As always, GTMT cannot thank enough the School of Public Policy and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts for their continued support and enthusiasm for the team.  GTMT also wishes to thank the friends, family, and GT Alumni, who both traveled to Los Angeles to support the team and were sending thoughts of support from around the country.

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  • Created By: Ryan McDonnell
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 8, 2017 - 9:32pm
  • Last Updated: May 8, 2017 - 9:32pm