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GSHS mock trial team wins regionals, heading to state

Pete Fowler

Feb 12, 2007

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Glenwood Springs High School senior Brendan Cochran will get an opportunity for payback against Saint Mary’s Academy at the state mock trial competition this year.GSHS had been on a four-year winning streak at state, but the win by Saint Mary’s ended the streak. Cochran was disappointed last year when Saint Mary’s won state, preventing his team from going on to the national competition. The GSHS Mock Trial program’s three teams placed first, third and fifth at the Western Slope regional competition last weekend out of seven teams total. Glenwood’s top team goes to the state competition the weekend of March 2 to compete against about 22 other teams out of more than 90 originally fighting for a chance at the state round. “Our number one team (won) all five matches and went on to state,” part-time municipal judge and GSHS mock trial organizer Victor Zerbi said.

Mock trial helps participants learn valuable life skills like critical thinking, public speaking, thinking quickly on the feet and teamwork, according to the Colorado Bar Association.The second GSHS team had a tough early loss against a Durango team that resulted in a confusing split vote. Two of three judges voted for Durango by one point, and a third judge voted for the GSHS team by 16 points, Zerbi said. It was unfortunate that the GSHS team had to face Durango early on in the competition, he added.Durango has been growing its up-and-coming mock trial program and knocked out the second GSHS team early, going on to take second place.This year, earning second place means Durango gets to go to the state competition. In previous years, third place also went, but this year only first and second advance because fewer teams participated.

“That’s a tremendous disappointment to our second team,” Zerbi said. The third team, “literally all freshmen and one sophomore, performed way better than anyone would have expected.”Acting classes and drama coaches must have paid off, because GSHS won awards for the best witness portrayals. Anders Rosen, Brendan Cochran, Taylor Goodstein and Marissa Molina won four of the five witness awards, Zerbi said. Kerry Rippy and Pearce Littler won attorney awards, with Rippy getting named top attorney.Rosen, Cochran, Rippy, Anna Wiltse, Abbey Barnes, Katie Waller, Drew Walters and Anna Triebel will represent GSHS at the state competition.”I’m really proud of all the kids,” Zerbi said.

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