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Ohio University Mock Trial succeeds at AMTA Regionals in Columbus, moves on to Championship Series in Washington D.C.

The jury hasn’t rendered their final verdict for Ohio University Mock Trial’s season just yet. OHIO Mock Trial’s Green Team stunned the competition at the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) regional tournament in Columbus, earning a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series in Washington D.C. and taking home three individual awards. 

This accomplishment marks the first time the program has moved on to the second round of the national circuit since 2021, and the third time in program history.

“We had an incredible weekend competing in AMTA regionals,” said Larry Hayman, Esq, head coach of the team and director of the pre-law program at Center for Law, Justice & Culture.  “The students demonstrated mastery of the case materials and the rules of evidence, and executed our trial strategies well.  They more than earned their spots in the D.C. competition.” 

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Ohio University’s Green and White Teams at the Columbus Regional competition.

OHIO’s Green and White teams competed against a variety of regional rivals and top ranked national programs across the weekend including Cedarville University, Xavier University, Penn State University, Hillsdale College, Ohio State University and Miami University of Ohio. They were assisted in preparation through scrimmaging, advice and judging from Ohio University alum Leah Wolfe, senior litigation counsel for E-Discovery at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Mock Trial alumna Ellen Whitehair, current 2L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Additionally, three individuals on OHIO’s Green team received individual recognition for their performances. Junior Zach Donaldson, a political science major, was named an all-regional attorney for his role as the prosecution closer and junior Riley Sargent, a political science pre-law major and senior Megan Taylor were named all-regional witnesses for their depictions of Forensic Scientist Amari Ebi and Detective Kit Bahmani respectively.

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(left to right) OHIO head coach Larry Hayman, Esq., Riley Sargent, Zach Donaldson, Megan Taylor, and Ashley Johnson, Esq.

“I’m incredibly proud of the improvements our program has made towards becoming nationally competitive, and grateful to my coaches and teammates for helping elevate my performance,” said Donaldson.

“I am so excited that our team has the opportunity to advance to the next level of competition and thankful for everyone who has made this season great so far” Sargent added.

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team is a selective and competitive experiential learning opportunity affiliated with the Center for Law, Justice & Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are selected after tryouts in the fall semester, and spend fall and spring semester preparing for the regional competition through participating in invitational tournaments across the country. Over 7,300 undergraduate students, from 700 teams compete from over 450 colleges and universities each year.

“You could really see the amount of growth we had this season through our performances at Regionals this year," Taylor said. "Beyond how proud I am of our overall trial scores, I am grateful for my teammates and their support. Without intrateam collaboration and picking each others brains, it wouldn’t be possible to have performed so well as a witness myself.”

The team’s next competition will be from March 9-10  at the Opening Round Championship Series hosted by George Washington University.

March 1, 2024
Staff reports