The UR Mock Trial Team took first place at the 11th annual Big Red Invitational Classic at Cornell University last weekend. The Yellowjackets competed against 30 teams from 17 different universities, managing to come out on top after beating Cornell in a tiebreaker.

“I was very happy with our performance,” team captain and KEY scholar Jacob Bohannon said. “We took home the hardware this tournament […] Our team surprised me. I didn’t expect us to be performing that well. But it just shows all the work we did in the first semester is starting to pay off.”

In addition to their first- place win, three members of UR’s team took home individual awards. Sophomore Jason Altabet and junior Wil Dietz were presented with Outstanding Attorney awards and Take Five student Paul Gabrys won an Outstanding Witness award.

“It was exciting. We were definitely very pumped,” Garbys said. “We almost maxed out the number of individual awards we could possibly make.”

Even while they competed against schools with multiple teams, UR’s single team came away from the tournament with the most individual awards.

This is a rare feat for teams that also place well overall.

“I think it’s indicative of our ability and our competitiveness that we can win so many individual awards and first place,” Garbys said. “I think that we competed really well and I’m hoping that that maintains us through regionals, championships, and maybe nationals – that’s the goal.”

UR will compete in its regional tournament in Buffalo in four weeks. In preparation, the team will compete in two scrimmages and focus on perfecting its case theory.

“This is the strongest team I’ve seen us put together in the whole time I’ve been here,” Bohannon, a five year veteran, said. “That team has got eight people that are very, very good with their fundamentals and they’re ready to go even in a situation like this where we came back from break and basically in ten days [had to be] on the same page and at competition level.”

UR has made it through their regional competition for the last five years and said they expect to do the same this year.

“It’s really just keeping up the hard work and the practice,” Bohannon said. “We were kind of rough this weekend so now we’re rounding out the edges so we’ll be ready to go by Buffalo.”

Rudd is a member of

the class of 2017. 

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