Tufts Mock Trial opens fall season with victories
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 08:11
Tufts Mock Trial (TMT) is off to a strong start this semester, with a second−place finish at Pennsylvania State University’s Happy Valley Invitational two weeks ago.
The results bode well for the group’s 2012−2013 season, Nick Teleky, TMT officer of external affairs and public relations, said. Teleky, who was also a team captain at the Penn State tournament, said their overall record of 6−2−0 at Columbia University’s Big Apple Invitational last month demonstrates the strength of TMT.
“The fact that we did as well as we did is really a reflection of the incredible [freshman] talent,” Teleky, a sophomore, said.
The second−place ranking at Penn State meant more than just the team’s skill, TMT Co−President Lindsey Wright said.
In the case of a tie, which is common in mock trial, the strength of a team’s opponents is also taken into consideration when deciding a winner, she explained. TMT received the second−highest opponent−strength ranking at Penn State, for example, contributing to their second−place finish.
“We faced some really strong competition,” Wright, a senior, said.
The team saw further success over the weekend when two members received awards for their performance, Teleky said. Senior Alex Gottfried won the Outstanding Attorney Award at Columbia, and sophomore Mario Feola received a unanimous Outstanding Witness Award as all judges ranked him on the top of their lists.
“It’s usually difficult to win those awards,” Teleky said. “If you manage to get one, that means you’re doing a really good job.”
This was the first year that TMT attended the Penn State tournament. Attending this invitational helped the team understand the different ways Mid−Atlantic schools handle particular elements of mock trial, Wright said.
“A lot of them have really big characters,” she said. “We all get the same case, but every case is very different.”
In general, Wright said it was helpful to have funding to attend a more distant tournament this year.
“This is the farthest that we’ve traveled for an invitational tournament,” she said. “We were really excited to be able to expand where we compete.”
Teleky said that TMT is hoping to win an award at Brandeis University this weekend for the Justice Louis Brandeis Invitational Tournament meet, to which TMT will send two teams.
The fall season is a way to get the Tufts name out and scope out other teams in advance of more competitive play heading towards the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament in the spring, according to Wright.
“We get to try out all these crazy different things and see how they work,” she said.
For a program that didn’t exist 10 years ago, to sit in the top 20 in the nation is a sign of its potential for growth, according to Teleky.
“I’m really excited about this year,” Wright said. “We have a lot of really talented new members.”