Hawks Win National Mock Trial Championship
For the first time in school history, the Ankeny High School mock trial team won the 2023 National High School Mock Trial Competition after defeating New Mexico in the Final Round in Little Rock, AZ. In doing so, they became the fifth team from Iowa to secure the national title, giving Iowa the most wins of any state at the National Competition.
Participating students include Chloe Andersen, Nicki Casady, Sareena Casady, Hayden DeWitt, Mallory Jordan, Marissa Larson-Minar, Grant Miner, Hannah Pross, and Noah Yeager. The team is coached by attorneys Marcus Miller and Joe Metzger. Amy Akers serves as the teacher-coach.
This year’s competition case involved a fictional criminal case titled the State of Arkansas vs. Scout Cumberland, which involved the homicide of a school board member by another school board member, with New Mexico’s prosecution team arguing for premeditated murder and Iowa’s defense team claiming self-defense. The trial was presided over by Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr., and the jury was made up of a panel of judges and attorneys from around the nation.
Under National High School Mock Trial Association rules, teams consist of six to nine official members assigned to roles representing the prosecution/plaintiff and defense/defendant sides, with six members participating in any given round. In each round, three members serve as attorneys and three serve as witnesses. Time limits are strictly enforced. The trial scenario switches from year to year between criminal and civil trials.
The National High School Mock Trial Competition began in 1984 in Des Moines, Iowa, with five states competing: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.