Mariah Hogan, a 2017 graduate of Kentridge High School, recently received honors at the American Mock Trial Association Oklahoma Region.
Hogan, a senior in the Central Washington University (CWU) Law and Justice program in Ellensburg, received an Outstanding Witness award during the mock trial Feb. 20-21 via Zoom from the Oklahoma College of Law, according to a Feb. 25 Central Washington news release.
Ni Perry, of Seattle, also received an Outstanding Witness award while Kailyn Bowman, of Bothell, was named an Outstanding Attorney.
“This is the first time in team history that multiple CWU competitors were recognized as awardees,” said Cody Stoddard, CWU Law and Justice chair. “Our team was one of only a few at the regional with multiple awardees.”
To qualify for the awards, the students had to place first or second in each of the four rounds of the competition.
Overall, CWU received an honorable mention after placing seventh at the regional. The showing was the best finish in program history, and the team fell just a half-point shy of advancing to the next round. Twenty colleges competed in the Oklahoma region. The University of Virginia placed first.
“Our success this year is a testament to these students’ hard work, the strength of their individual performances, and—most of all—their ability to support each other and work collectively as a team,” said R. Shaffer Claridge, a CWU Law and Justice lecturer who served as the team’s coach.
Claridge said that “the regional tournaments are open to all schools nationwide; not many schools of Central’s size field a team or are able to compete with the larger schools.”
Hogan won honors for the third consecutive year.
“I felt the closest to my teammates this year than ever before,” she said. “Part of that was due to the fact we had to learn to collaborate online. And I think that translated to how well we competed this year.”
Mock trial competitors prepare and argue a hypothetical case—this year, it was a liability issue involving wine contaminated with a pesticide—in front of actual judges and attorneys. CWU’s team spent months preparing for the event.
The Missouri-based American Mock Trial Association is hosting 32 regional competitions, involving about 400 college and universities across the country, through April. The events promote undergraduate student opportunities to gain confidence and in-depth feedback that will prove valuable for those who go on to law school and the legal profession.