Mock Trial earns bid in Opening Round Championship Series

Cornell College’s Mock Trial team is on fire as they head into the postseason.

The team has earned a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) for the 13th year in a row. More than 700 teams started the mock trial season, and only 192 will be competing in this championship. 

“Considering that the Cornell program is only slightly older than that record, I could not be more proud of our current students for their hard work and dedication to the program and to those that have come before for creating a legacy and tradition of excellence that continues to drive Cornell Mock Trial,” said Coach Abbe Stensland. 

The Opening Round Championship Series is the final qualifying tournament for the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament. The teams competing will be vying for 48 spots in that Tournament, which takes place April 17–19, at Loyola University in Chicago.

The mock trial team is inviting everyone to be a part of the Opening Round Championship as Cornell hosts the competition at the Kirkwood Conference Center inside The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, March 6–8.  

Students holding trophy
Mock Trial A squad at regionals: (left to right) Brena Levy, Austen Raamot, Maddie Huntzinger, Alex Nelson, Kim Cuevas, Jack Beaumaster, and Jonah Storr

“I’m anticipating a tough competition,” said Team Captain Kimberly Cuevas. “By this time programs are very polished and well versed in the case so I’m looking forward to new case theories. I’m excited to go against programs we didn’t see at regionals. More than anything it’s my last ORCS as a senior and captain of my squad so I want to enjoy it and give it all I have. It’s bittersweet!”

Those interested in participating can email the coach at Spectators can find the competition at the Conference Center from 4–9 p.m. March 6, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. March 7, and 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. March 8.

“We would love to have you join us, either to watch, judge, or just meet with the students, if you are able!” Stensland said.

The team has been working hard and traveling to competitions since the season started with auditions back in September. And it always shows. The team is ranked in the top 7% of mock trial teams nationally and has qualified for the National Championship Tournament in 2009, 2010, 2013-2016 and 2019.

Mock trial is an intercollegiate activity that combines speech, theatre, and debate. Cornell’s mock trial program gives students the chance to develop a better understanding of the courtroom process and the American legal system. The primary objectives of Cornell’s mock trial program are to enhance each student’s critical thinking, analysis of logic, and public speaking skills in a competitive and collegial environment.