Top of the world: Mock trial dominates in world championship

The Carmel High School mock trial team has won, undefeated, the 2016 Empire New York Mock Trial World Championships, going 8-0 in the preliminary rounds and continuing to defeat Santa Susana High School in the Nov. 13 final, earning their first world championship title.

Along with winning the championship, three members of CHS’ team were given individual awards, including junior Becca Goren as outstanding witness and seniors Mindy Morgan and Anna Gumberg as outstanding attorneys.

“I am ecstatic about winning the award with my team and winning Empire,” mock trial president Morgan says. “And ecstatic doesn’t really even begin to cover it.”

Goren says that although she is immensely thankful for the award, she is more grateful for the event she experienced afterward. The witness’ award had been named in honor of Evan Carrington, a veteran Empire competitor who had passed away last summer. The award recipient recalls being approached by Carrington’s mother who, along with her family, congratulated her.

“She told me that I changed her family’s life and that they would never forget me,” the top witness says. “Who cares if I won an award for being a witness? That was the best thing, ever.”

Former federal prosecutor and current AP Government and Politics teacher and mock trial adviser Bill Schrier says that he is immensely grateful for the dedication of the students and their unending worth.

“I just have so much gratitude for how hard those students worked and pushed through the sickness, fatigue and lack of regular meals,” Schrier reflects.
Last year, CHS participated in San Francisco’s Empire Mock Trial World Championships and placed second, which earned them a spot in the New York championship this year.

“I felt optimistic about New York this year,” Gumberg says. “This was bigger, more intense and more competitive than anything we’ve done before…. We went into this tournament and exceeded every expectation anyone could have had for us.”

Her fellow award recipient Morgan agrees: “Every single person on this team has put in an extreme amount of hard work and effort, and it has most certainly paid off.”

-Ellie Alto