When Dr. Jennifer LaPrade organized MSU’s first-ever Mock Trial team in Fall 2020, it was in the middle of the pandemic.
That season, the team competed entirely through Zoom.
Fast-forward to 2024, and the Mock Trial team is competing in person against schools like the University of Arkansas and University of Missouri.
And they’re racking up the wins.
The team has won eight team awards and 22 individual awards this season. Mock Trial president and team captain Victoria Ogbeifun, a senior chemistry and microbiology double major who plans to attend medical school, has alone garnered six of those awards for her roles as both prosecuting and defense attorneys.
The team’s record has been so impressive, they were recognized at MSU’s Feb. 16 Board of Governors meeting for their outstanding achievements.
Sights set on regionals
Coming off their recent victories, the team is preparing for the first rounds of regional competition at University of Oklahoma in Norman Feb. 23-25.
“If we are one of the top teams there, we advance to the next level. If we are not one of the top teams, our competitive season is over, so we are working hard to be one of the top teams so we can keep going,” LaPrade said.
According to the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), winning teams from each regional competition advance to one of eight Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) tournaments in March. ORCS winners will advance to the National Championship Tournament in April.
At their regional competition, MSU will compete against teams from University of Arkansas, Collin College, Hendrix College, Howard Payne University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Nebraska, University of Oklahoma, Rhodes College and Texas Tech University.