The mock trial team began its 2021-22 season with its first in-person tournaments since the pandemic began. This year, Illinois State has two squads—1012 and 1013.
The first tournament was hosted by Illinois State University at the McLean County Law and Justice Center the first weekend in November. Thirty-one teams from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Kentucky competed in the event. Squad 1012 took fifth place, garnering a 5-2-1 record. Its two losses were to the Hillsdale College team that won the tournament. Squad 1012 had a 4-4 record.
The team participated in its second face-to-face competition the following weekend in Champaign at the Illini Tournament. Squad 1012 went 5-3, and squad 1013 was 4-4. Andrew Cummings and Tyler Gray-Henry were named outstanding witnesses.
The last fall tournament was the Colonel Classic Mock Trial Invitational, an online competition sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University. Nadalie Ponce and Andrew Cummings were awarded outstanding witness honors. The tournament named Connor Martin and Kyla Egizio outstanding attorneys. Connor received a perfect 20 score for his performance. Squad 1013 won four ballots and lost the remaining four. Squad 1012 went 5-2-1, placing fifth in the tournament.
The members of squad 1012 for the first part of the season were Andrew Cummings, Caitlyn Danielson, Kyla Egizio, Tyler Gray-Henry, Paige Malloy, and Connor Martin. Squad 2013 was composed of D’nija Johnson, Shannon Johnson-Cadle, Julia Kourkemelis, Brock Melrose, Amelia O’Neal, McKenna Plotner, and Nadalie Ponce. Connor and Nadalie served as team captains. Squads will be reconfigured for the spring semester.
The next tournament will be in mid-January at Central College in Pella, Iowa. The team will compete at the American Mock Trial Association regional in St. Louis in February.
The head attorney coach is Josh Rinker, a Bloomington attorney. The assistant coach is A.J. Blodgett, a third-year law student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Both were award-winning members of the Illinois State mock trial team. McLean County Assistant State’s Attorney Spence Chickahisa is a volunteer assistant coach and Professor Tom McClure is the educator coach.
For further information about the mock trial team, contact Professor McClure at email@example.com.