Mock trial qualifies for nationals

By The Beacon | February 23, 2011 9:00pm

(Photo courtesy of Liz Romero)

By Jocelyne LaFortune, Staff Writer --

For the first time in five years, the University's mock trial team earned a bid at nationals by placing sixth at the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Spokane last weekend.

"I wouldn't say we expected this, because you can't really expect anything in mock trial," Co-captain Michael Yeabsley said. "We're just feeling it this year."

UP entered two squads into the regional competition. The top squad finished with six wins and two losses, the best record a UP team has achieved at the regional competition in over a decade, according to coach Steven Taylor.

"This year, we went into competitions with a different attitude," Taylor said. "Instead of hoping we'd advance, we decided we were going to advance and we were very successful with that mindset."

The team finished ahead of Gonzaga, the University of Oregon, Portland State University, Reed College, the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University.

Yeabsley was selected as the top attorney in the competition, and junior Elizabeth Romero was selected as the top witness.

"I can't stress enough how much every member of the team has worked to put in the effort and perform last weekend," Yeabsley said. "The whole group is just awesome."

Now, the team will focus on raising enough money to fund the trip to the first round of nationals, which will be held in March in Illinois, according to Taylor.

"We do have some funding from ASUP, and we are hoping to get some funding from the College of Arts and Sciences," Taylor said. "One way or another we will find a way to send at least enough students to compete."