It's on to the American Mock Trial Association nationals.
The SAU Mock Trial team has earned an at-large bid to the AMTA Opening Round Championship Series Tournament, March 14-16, where they will compete with teams from some of the largest universities in the US.
"This bid marks the end of a highly successful regular season and confirms SAU's status as a major player in college mock trial," said Mock Trial Coach Henry Marquard. "The team has really stuck together. With their backs against the wall at regionals, they really came through in a way that I can only describe as amazing."
Team members are Caleb Copley, Tyler Waugh, Cole McKinnon, Joe Dillon, Mario Vega, Logan Hanley, Allysa Daniel, Alexa Thompson, Paige Wheeler and Whitney Bowton.
It's been 10 years since an SAU Mock Trial team competed in a national tournament. Nationally, less than 25 percent of mock trial teams earn bids to the opening round.
Opening Round competition will include the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, Notre Dame and the University of Chicago.
Earlier this month, the AMTA Regional Tournament gave SAU its chance to shine. Overcoming an 0-2 start against Cornell College and a 1-1 split against Loras College, the team went 2-0 against a University of Notre Dame team and a University of Iowa team. In addition, SAU tied Notre Dame for the Spirit of AMTA Award for "best exemplifying the ideals of honesty, civility and fair play." Captain Caleb Copley received an outstanding attorney award and co-captain Tyler Waugh received an outstanding witness award.
Most importantly, the team's 5-3 record made it eligible for the at-large bid, which has now been realized.
Just as important to Marquard is the team's character. "After the first Sunday round of Regionals, we headed to Subway for lunch," he said. "The weather was terrible and as we pulled into the parking lot, we saw a woman who had skidded into a snow drift and buried her car. Without a word, we all went over and dug and pushed her out. As she pulled away she yelled, "Good luck and may God bless you!"