Owasso H.S. Competes at National Championship
TRIAL TEAM AND COACHES: Owasso High School Mock Trial team members and their coaches pose for a photo at the national championship in Reno, Nevada.
As 2018 Oklahoma champions, Owasso High School’s Audrey Cantrell Team advanced to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Program Championship. The team traveled to Reno, Nevada, May 10-12 for the national competition with 45 teams from the U.S., Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.
At nationals, the students tried the fictitious murder case of State of Nevada v. Jordan Kendall that revolved around the annual Burning Man Festival held in the Black Rock Desert, north of Reno. The team competed in four rounds, winning the rounds against Rhode Island and Kansas, and finished in 28th place. A total of 400 students participated.
Owasso High School’s Audrey Cantrell team members are Isabel Cevallos, Camila Cevallos, William Dionicio, Ariel Grimes, Lauren Hughes, Mandy Huo, Tyler Owens, Jenna Randall and Caitlin Thoumire. Attorney coaches are Judge Daman Cantrell, Michon Hughes and Clint Hastings with teacher coach Kathy Rutherford.
The mock trial program, sponsored by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association, is designed to teach students the principles of trial advocacy as they apply skills of debate, speech and critical thinking during a fictitious courtroom proceeding, with students playing the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney and witness.
The judges evaluated the students based on their familiarity of the case and the formulation of their arguments. Students received points for each phase of the trial: opening, direct and cross examination, closing argument and how well their witnesses responded.
“Although we did not place among the top teams, I was thoroughly impressed with this group of young people who worked so hard to prepare for each round,” Mock Trial Coordinator Judy Spencer said. “It is rewarding to see the life skills they gain as part of the experience – self-confidence, speaking ability and teamwork – to name a few. Their character, sportsmanship, dedication and talent were obvious to all. Oklahoma can be proud!”
The bestows annual grants that provide free legal assistance for the poor and elderly, safe haven for the abused, protection and legal assistance for children, public law-related education programs, including those for school children and other activities that improve the quality of justice for all Oklahomans. The 18,000-member , headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.