Feb 23, 2010
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – It was a return to dominance for Glenwood Springs High School’s legal eagles at the regional mock trial competition in Grand Junction last weekend.
Glenwood High claimed the gold, silver and bronze positions, sweeping the top three places among eight teams from five Western Slope high schools, including Grand Junction, Durango, Winter Park Christian, and the R-5 High School of Grand Junction.
Glenwood’s No. 1 team, represented by Megan Gould, Taylor Goodstein, Travis Whitman, Chuck Bergren-Aragon, Isabel Carlson and Alex Pototsky, will go to the state competition in Colorado Springs the weekend of March 12 as the top finisher from the Western Slope.
The No. 3 team from GSHS, including Grace Gamba, Isaac Carlson, Claire McKenna, Mats Rosen, Eileen Klomhaus, Ericka Arensman and Drew Metzger, will also go to state as the second place finisher.
And Glenwood’s No. 2 team came in third at the competition. That team included Sarah Rippy, Stuart Jenkins, Joseph Ciborowski, Garrett Brown, Hope Whitman, Madi Goodstein and Marissa Molina.
Normally, the top three teams from each region advance to state. However, the Colorado Bar Association, which sponsors the competition, limits each school to just two teams for the state meet.
“It was a special weekend, and it was especially nice to have our teams finish one-two-three,” longtime Glenwood mock trial coach Victor Zerbi said. “It’s been several years since we’ve done that, so it was nice to return and, in essence, dominate the tournament this year.”
Glenwood Springs has won numerous regional and state mock trial competitions, representing Colorado at the National Mock Trial Championship for four straight years earlier last decade, placing second and third and finishing in eighth place twice nationally.
However, Glenwood’s run of regional titles ended last year when Durango High School took top honors for the Western Slope.
Several individual awards also went to Glenwood High participants at this year’s regional meet, including for best attorney, to Megan Gould and Marissa Molina. Outstanding witness awards were awarded to Ericka Arensman, Garrett Brown, Grace Gamba and Alex Pototsky.
The case presented and argued by mock trial teams this year was a civil case involving the shooting death of a model during a high end fashion show at an Aspen hotel. At issue was whether or not there was a conspiracy involving the head of a leading fashion house, or if the perpetrator acted alone.
More than 100 teams will compete at state, using the same case, for the right to represent Colorado at nationals in Philadelphia this May. Twenty-two teams from across the country will move on to the finals.
“The goals of the mock trial program include furthering the understanding of the legal system, improving the proficiency in the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, teamwork, persuasive argument and reasoning,” according to the Colorado Bar Association.
Kathy Woodyard is the teacher sponsor for the GSHS teams, and several local attorneys provide hundreds of hours of legal coaching for the team members, including Zerbi, who has been involved with the program for 16 years.
Other team coaches include local attorneys Charlie Willman and Wayne Smith, with the help of David Hallford, Jon Pototsky, Matt Barrett, Tony Hershey, Hugh Warder, Angela Roff, Paul Metzger and Dennis Walters. Ruben Hernandez also helped the team before moving to Denver in December.