Mock Trial Goes National

Janie Feldmann ’15, Staff Writer

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For the first time in the history of Dickinson’s Mock Trial program, both teams have qualified for nationals after placing at the regional competition in Baltimore.

“We name our teams for Dickinson’s school colors,” explained Associate Professor of Political Science Douglas Edlin, the faculty advisor for Mock Trial. “The Red Team finished 5-3 at [the tournament in Baltimore] and qualified for the opening round [of the National] tournament at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. The White Team finished 4-3-1 at regionals and qualified for the opening round tournament hosted by Miami University in Hamilton, Ohio…It’s the fifth consecutive year that our team has qualified for the opening round of nationals.”

Edlin noted that Mock Trial at Dickinson is unique in terms of competitive strategies.

“We are one of the only programs in the country that does not ‘stack’ our teams, which means that we do not put all of the best people on one team” he said. “Mock Trial at Dickinson is about more than just winning in competitions, even though we care about that, too. It helps if we can put people with more experience on teams with some less-experienced teammates.”

Gina Del Rio-Gazzo ’13, the team’s president, explained how the team prepares for competition.

“We meet as much as possible during the week and practice for several hours,” she said. “When regionals becomes closer, our practices naturally become more intense. We practice for 3-5 additional hours on the weekends to prepare. This is one of the first years where we’ve really cracked down and become stricter about practices. It is hard work, but we saw this year that it definitely paid off for the best.”

Del Rio-Gazzo expressed pride in her team.

“I could not have asked for a better senior year as part of the team,” she said. “It has been an incredible experience to be involved with these talented, dedicated people. We have come so far from when I first joined, and it really gives me such a sense of pride, both for what we have accomplished and for Dickinson. Practicing together for all those hours really bonded us, and it is nice to have that kind of close-knit family on campus. It is extremely satisfying to know that our effort did not go to waste. From here I think we can only continue to improve.”