The Saint Vincent College Mock Trial team recently completed its 2018-19 competitive season at the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Regional Tournament hosted by Ohio State University at the Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus.
Coached by Michael Arabia and George Miller, instructors in Saint Vincent’s Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government, the SVC team finished 3-5 in the Ohio event. Through it did not qualify for the AMTA National Tournament, the coaching staff sees a bright future ahead.
“We knew coming into the 2018-19 season that it would largely be a rebuilding year for the program,” commented Arabia. “The team graduated 10 students over the last two seasons, so we needed to fill many of those vacancies this year just to field a team.”
“Three of the team’s eight starters at this year’s Regional Tournament were first-year team members,” added Miller. “We also added two new members this semester who will replace graduating seniors Adam Galaski and Kyle Donovan, so we are in good position to field an experienced team next season.”
Earlier in the season, the team also competed at the St. Bonaventure University Invitational, finishing with a 4-4 record to tie for seventh place. Three Saint Vincent students won individual awards at the fall event. Galaski, a senior accounting major from White Oak, and Kaitlin Repp, a freshman political science major from Gettysburg who was competing in her first collegiate tournament, were each given the Best Attorney Award. Kyle Donovan, an Allison Park native who graduated in December with a degree in history, was honored with the Best Witness Award.
Individual awards are based on a point system throughout the competition and are awarded to the 10 best student attorney participants and the 10 best student witness participants. Competitions typically include more than 100 student lawyer participants and 100 student witness participants.
“To have three students from one team finish in the top 10 is quite an accomplishment for any program,” said Arabia. “Kaitlin earning her award in her first collegiate tournament is an accomplishment that has never been previously achieved at Saint Vincent during our tenures as both coaches and students.”
Following a 2018-19 campaign full of bright spots, the students and coaches are now anxiously looking forward to the 2019-20 competition season, which will begin in August.
“We already have students asking us for next year’s case,” said Arabia. “That’s a great place to be, considering we just finished this season.”
Both coaches encourage additional students to consider joining the Mock Trial team for the upcoming season, even if the student does not plan on attending law school. They encourage interested students to attend one of their remaining classes on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in Alfred Hall 33.
“Many of our current students do not have plans to attend law school after graduation,” Arabia said, “but they understand the benefit that this program can offer them. The students who do wish to attend law school also experience benefits by being exposed to concepts and terms that they will encounter during their first year of law school.”
“I would recommend this program to any student looking to enhance their public speaking abilities, critical thinking skills and logical argument,” added Miller.