NU Mock Trial team finishes 9th in the country


Source: Yash Dhuri

Northwestern University Mock Trial. The team finished in ninth place at National Championships this year.

Jonah Dylan, Campus Editor

After failing to reach the National Championships in 2017, Northwestern University Mock Trial made its comeback this year with a top-10 finish at last weekend’s tournament.

NUMT qualified both its A team and B team to the 48-team National Championships, a major milestone for the program, and the A team finished ninth overall in the competition.

In addition, NUMT had three members named All-American attorneys: SESP senior Joy Holden, Weinberg junior Nick Anderson and Medill freshman Michael Zhou. Holden, the A team captain, said this is the first time in “a while” that multiple NU members have been given the honor, which she said is given to about 25 students. Anderson said he wasn’t expecting to earn the award.

“Hearing my name be called was just a shock,” he said. “I had absolutely no idea that was going to happen. I went up and it was exciting, and at the same time very humbling and incredibly validating. Validating of the work over the past year and of the growth that I’ve experienced.”

NU started off the tournament, held in the Twin Cities, with a loss to Emory University. But the team rebounded throughout the rest of the tournament to earn a top-10 finish. Miami University eventually won the competition.

Holden said before a critical round at the end of the tournament, she gave her team a pep talk to inspire them for the rest of the competition.

“I remember telling my team, ‘Hey, this is a stupid activity, I think it’s really dumb. The reason that I do this isn’t for the accolades or the ranks or the awards, it’s for you guys,’” Holden said. “And I think that was a sentiment that was shared by many members of our team, and I think that’s what allowed us to band together in the last round.”

The B team earned one of three ballots against the University of Virginia’s A team, the defending national champions, B team co-captain Yash Dhuri said.

The Weinberg sophomore added that the B team was made up of almost all freshmen. Dhuri said he was very excited to see the way his team came together throughout the season.

“Other teams had better individual performers than us,” he said. “But as a team we really came together, really worked well … and as a result I felt like as a team we did really well because judges saw how we presented ourselves as a team.”

Dhuri said he started the season as the captain of NUMT’s C team, but after the B team failed to advance at an earlier tournament, his team became the B team. He said the success his team had will show future members who aren’t on the A team that if they work hard, they can go to nationals.

Holden said she was proud of her experience with mock trial throughout her time at NU, and said the team has set itself up for more success in the coming years.

“It’s huge, especially because last year we didn’t get to nationals so I think there was kind of a chip on our shoulder through the entire year to prove ourselves,” she said. “And with our top-10 finish last weekend, we did prove ourselves.”

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