Dos Pueblos High School’s varsity mock trial team won the Santa Barbara County Mock Trial Championship Saturday, after sweeping the final round against the varsity San Marcos High School team. The team will go on to the state mock trial competition in mid-March, which will be held in Sacramento this year.
“I feel incredible,” said senior Maggie Miller, one of the DP team captains and a four-year high school mock trial veteran. “We all gave it our best, which is what we needed to give in order to win this.”
For the third time in three years, DP had two teams advance past the preliminary rounds of the county tournament, held last weekend. The varsity DP team beat the junior varsity DP team in this morning’s semi-final rounds, while San Marcos beat the the Santa Barbara High School varsity team to advance. DP’s varsity team then faced off against San Marcos in the afternoon finals, held in the historic Santa Barbara courthouse.
“Both of the DP teams had absolutely stellar performances this weekend,” said Kelly Savio, teacher coach of the DP team. “They made their families and coaches incredibly proud with their quick thinking, poise, and good sportsmanship. The students have worked hard since getting the case in September, so it’s thrilling to see it all pay off.”
DP students who also took home individual awards during the preliminary rounds of the county competition last weekend include: Maggie Miller, Nina Downey, Jeremy Embar, Lola Macy, Rebecca Embar, Rafael Saavedra, Chloe Glikbarg, Jenny Jang, and Jenny Rothman. Along with Miller, the captains of the varsity team are seniors Nina Downey and Jenny Rothman, and junior Rafael Saavedra.
The case at hand focused on whether fictional character Jamie Hayes was justified in taking lethal force against security officer Lee Valdez in defense of a friend’s life, or if Hayes’ action was, in fact, murder.
Several DP students that competed this weekend were among the competitors from the DP team that won the New York Empire World Championship Mock Trial tournament in October. Those students didn’t begin working on preparations for this case until they returned home from that tournament.
Attorney coach Deedrea Edgar said she was proud of DP’s performance and great team spirit throughout the competition. She also expressed thanks to the students’ families for their generous support of the teams.
The DP teams’ attorney coaches include Edgar, Tyrone Maho, Joel Block, Sarah Knecht, and Susan Epstein.