By Maggie Callaghan, Senior Staff Writer

On April 15, the Miami University Mock Trial team travelled to Greenville, South Carolina to compete in the National Championship Tournament. This was the team’s ninth consecutive appearance for the National title.

“This year was different than the other years,” said Miami senior and co-captain, Najeeb Ahmed. “We only had three weeks to prepare for a new case.”

Ahmed explained that in past years, the case for Nationals would be released much further ahead of time. However, the team worked diligently before heading to Greenville, spending four to five hours every day and scrimmaging against the University of Cincinnati to prepare each member adequately. This year the team had to prepare a criminal case.

“It separates the really good teams that can work on their feet from teams that just know the cases really well,” said Ahmed.

Miami’s mock trial team received 3rd place in the overall tournament, behind Yale University and only a point and a half behind the University of Virginia. This is the team’s ninth consecutive top ten finish at Nationals. The Mock Trial Team also holds the longest streak of appearances at Nationals.

“Over the last three years I’ve been at nationals, my teams finished 7th, 3rd, and now 2nd in our division to finish my career ranked 3rd nationally,” said Miami senior co-captain Ben Sandlin. “That’s a phenomenal finish I couldn’t be happier with.”

The team argued through four rounds, competing against Harvard, Northern Illinois University, Duke University and Georgia Tech University. Ahmed said each round has five judges who judge based on how well each member can portray their role and convince their audience. The rankings are then based on how many points are given out by the judges.

“Think about it like a competitive episode of law and order,” said Ahmed

Ahmed and Sandlin both credit their finish on the hard work and dedication by all of the members. The co-captains said all of their members understood what it would take to get to the level they wanted to perform at.

“It’s about ensuring that everyone is on the same page,” said Ahmed.

The co-captains also work on keeping the intensity up, which can be difficult for students who are spending a large sum of time with the team when they have other academic obligations. But the co-captains worked on motivation and remember each member why they were there.

“We all knew we wanted to success and we never had to sit down with anyone and say ‘this part of your performance isn’t up to snuff’,” said Sandlin.