Loras College Mock Trial Takes 2nd Place at Cedar Rapids Regional Tournament, Advances to Semi-Finals in St. Louis

The Loras College Mock Trial team took 2nd place, only to Northwestern University, at the Cedar Rapids Regional Tournament held at the Kirkwood Center on February 16 and 17.
“We beat some very impressive top teams from the Midwest.  Our record was five wins and three ties, the only technically undefeated team at the tournament,” explained Deone Merkel, advisor to Loras Mock Trial.
Loras students who competed this weekend were Chris Shultz (’12) (Mineral Point, Wis.), Bo Anderson (’13) (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Bobby Bauch (’13) (Freeport, Ill.), Sarah Keely (’13) (Leland, Iowa), Zach Shay (’13) (Maple Grove, Minn.), Jessie Donels (’14) (Cedar Point, Iowa), Julian Valdes (’14) (Rockford, Ill.), Cody Arnold (’15) (Elizabeth, Ill.), Cara O’Keeffe (’15) (West Saint Paul, Minn.), Matt Resnick (’15) (Dubuque, Iowa), Tracy Tillman (’15) (Dubuque, Iowa), Luis Sanchez (’15) (Glendale, Ariz.), Blake Gibney (’16) (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Joseph McGreal (’16), and Elaine Wasylko (’16) (Chicago, Ill.).
The second place finish qualifies the Loras team to compete at the Opening Round Championship (ORCs) in St. Louis, Missouri on March 15, 16, and 17. Six teams from semi-finals will advance to the National Championship in Washington, D.C. 
“Loras has a very good chance of advancing to Nationals given the talent we have this year and the amount of effort the students have been putting in.  It will take some intensive practicing in the next month to make this happen, however,” said Merkel.
Keely also received an outstanding attorney trophy, one of only nine awarded.  “It was so validating to see all of the blood, sweat, and tears that we've been putting into this season culminate in such a positive outcome.  I'm so proud and thankful to the team for how hard they've worked and performed this weekend.  Without them there to make me look good it wouldn't be even halfway possible for me to get an individual award,” said Keely.
Mock Trial is a legal advocacy competition where students prepare a case from materials made available by the American Mock Trial Association. Student attorneys prepare both plaintiff and defense cases from a pool of 10 witnesses and compete against other colleges and universities. Judges, usually with a legal background, score each attorney and witness on their ability to present the case.
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