Providence Cup Champions 2019

On October 17th, MMT travelled to Denver, Colorado for the annual Providence Cup and returned with the first place trophy! It was Menlo’s 8th year at the tournament and 6th victory.

The Providence pre-season tournament gives students an opportunity to argue historical cases. This year, the case was modeled off of the infamous Lindenberg baby kidnapping of the 1930s. Eight experienced Menlo Mock Trial members, all of whom travelled to Georgia for the National Championship in May last season, performed at Providence.

MMT played teams from across the country over the weekend. After two rounds on Friday and two rounds on Saturday, Menlo was announced as one of the finalists on Saturday evening. After a challenging final round against a team from Colorado, Menlo ultimately left victorious.

Now MMT is preparing the case of People vs. Bailey Matsumoto for the first trip of the main season to Sacramento.

The 2019 Providence Team after the awards ceremony on Saturday 10/19

Ethan Yan wins 2019 Chris Lagod MVP Award

Every year, the team and coaches vote on an MVP. The award is named in honor of Chris Lagod, the founder of the program. Former recipients include Andy Parker (2015), Annie Kim (2016), Colton Conley (2017), and Tiffany Tam (2018). This year’s winner is Ethan Yan.

Ethan Yan made his mock trial debut Freshman year as a varsity pretrial attorney for the prosecution. For both the 2018 and 2019 season, he was Menlo’s starting varsity pretrial attorney for the People. Despite only being a junior, Ethan Yan already has five awards in his name. At the Norcal competition over the past three years, he has received two 3rd place pretrialing awards (2017 and 2018) and one Honorable Mention for pretrialing (2019). At the County level, Ethan received an Honorable Mention for his pretrial performance in 2018, and in 2019, Ethan received a plaque for best pre-trial attorney in the County! At the 2019 Norcal competition in which MMT got 1st place, Ethan’s (along with varsity Defense pretrialer Ashli Jain’s) point contribution from their pretrial performance made the difference between winning and losing the Championship round.

In addition to his fantastic pretrialing skills and exquisite mastery of all pertinent Supreme Court cases from the past three CRF case packets,  Ethan also dipped his feet into the trial attorney side of mock trial at the 2019 National Competition in Athens, Georgia. Ethan middled on both sides, directing and crossing both experts.

MMT would like to offer a huge congratulations to our 2019 MVP, Ethan Yan, and cannot wait to see what is in store for him next season!

2019 National Championship Results

After winning the State Championship in late March, MMT headed off to the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Athens, Georgia. Teams from all over the country, in addition to teams from South Korea, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, gathered in the UGA college town for a two-day long intensive mock trial tournament consisting of four scored rounds of competition. Unlike the County and State competitions where the festivities are limited to merely mock-trial related ones, the National Competition gives participating students many opportunities to engage with both each other and the case history itself. Students were able to participate in a pin-exchange, a Law Day hosted by the University of Georgia’s law school, and a night at the Georgia Theatre–one of the historical elements in the 2019 Nationals case.

At the National Competition, Menlo students participated in three scrimmage rounds–against Ohio, South Korea, and Mississippi–before starting the scored rounds. On the first day of competition, MMT played Florida in the first round and Nevada in the second round. On day two, MMT played Hawaii in the first round and Missouri in the second round. Menlo went 2-2, placing 22nd in the nation.

The National Competition marks the end of a fantastic season for MMT, who went undefeated through every round of Norcals, County, and States. Additionally, 2019 was the second year in all of Menlo Mock Trial history for Menlo to go to the National Competition. Can we make 2020 our third?

2019 State Champions

Menlo left for the Constitutional Rights Foundation State Championship as Team San Mateo and returned as Team California.

Last weekend, Menlo had the pleasure of playing some of the best teams in the state in four preliminary rounds (including NorCal competitors Prospect and Venture Academy). Late Saturday night, Menlo was called as one of the finalists, along with Shasta High School, 3x championship round contender. After a grueling trial, Menlo ultimately left victorious.

This 2018-2019 team is the first in Menlo Mock Trial history to go undefeated at every scored round of competition through March (this includes the NorCal, County, and State tournaments).

In May, Menlo will represent California at the National Mock Trial Competition in Athens, Georgia. Team USA?

The 2018-2019 MMT full team sporting gold metals at the CA State Championship Awards Ceremony 🙂

2018-2019 Update Pre-CA State Competition

The 2018-2019 season has been a year of overcoming adversity for Menlo Mock Trial. In May of 2018, Thom Scher resigned as head coach after a decade of working with the team. He is now the coach of Stanford Mock Trial, and just last year, led the team to a 3rd place victory at the national collegiate mock trial competition. Along with Thom, MMT’s 3 JV coaches resigned, along with 2 varsity coaches. Tracy Tefertiller, who has worked with MMT’s pretrial team for four years, stepped in as head coach.

In August, after a weekend of tryouts, 30 students were chosen for the JV and Varsity teams. After a number of scrimmages both internally and with Stanford Mock Trial, MMT traveled to Sacramento to scrimmage several of California’s top teams. Apart from a team-wide bout of food poisoning, this tournament was a success! Menlo then went into a 2-week long break filled with Tracy Tefertiller’s version of holiday fun (checkboxes and NorCal prep)!

Next up, NorCals. Former coach Thom Scher came back to run this annual, highly selective invitational tournament, hosted by Menlo and Trinity Pacific. Despite close competition and top-notch teams, Menlo defended their title as NorCal champions! Only a week later, the team hopped onto a 6-hour bus ride to sunny Santa Barbara. The annual tournament is held in the beautiful historic Santa Barbara courthouse where MMT had the chance to scrimmage a number of high ranked teams from Southern California and prepare for the county competition.

Just 4 days after returning, MMT entered into the Redwood City Courthouse for the first time in a year, ready to defend the title of County Champions. After 3 weeks of grueling competition with local teams (and a number of bad coughs and high fevers), Menlo made it to semis and just 2 days later stepped into the final round against Hillsdale. Menlo swept both semis and finals (6-0, 8-0). MMT is again the County Champions with a 90-0 win streak over the past 9 years!

Now Menlo is heading to the state competition in Sacramento. Wish us luck! 🙂

Tiffany Tam wins Chris Lagod MVP Award

Every year, the team and coaches vote on an MVP. The award is named in honor of Chris Lagod, the founder of the program. Former recipients include Andy Parker (2015), Annie Kim (2016), and Colton Conley (2017). This year’s winner, in a field with more nominated candidates than ever before, is senior Tiffany Tam.

Tiffany finishes her Menlo Mock Trial career as the single-most-awarded competitor to ever represent MMT, with the second-most cases representing MMT, and with one of the most dominant senior seasons of any competitor. She was on teams that won 2 Providence Titles, 1 NorCal Title, and 4 County Titles (a perfect 40-0); her teams ranked at the State Championship in 3/4 years.

As a freshman, Tiffany began as a Junior Varsity Opening Attorney, for which she won a NorCal Honorable Mention Award, and then performed as the Unofficial Timer on the 2015 State Team. As a sophomore, Tiffany was a Varsity Middle Attorney on the 2016 State Team, which made the final round. As a junior, Tiffany became only the fourth competitor for Menlo to earn the CRF Closing Attorney role before her senior year; she again earned Honorable Mention status at NorCal, then Honorable Mention status at County, and then Honorable Mention status at the Gladiator World Championships. In her Senior Season, Tiffany repeated as Prosecution Closer, where she received a 2nd place individual award at NorCal, a 1st Place County Award, and will again head to the Gladiator World Championships this summer. She performed as Prosecution Closer and Defense Opener for the State Championships.

Tiffany’s Senior County Performance was remarkably dominant, earning her the most award nominations of any competitor, for any role, in the history of San Mateo County. She also earned Menlo’s first individually perfect scored round of the 10-point era, and first ever perfect score for a trial attorney (County R1, 3 exams + closing, all 10/10). Tiffany hopes to continue mock trial for NYU come fall.

State Results 2018

Menlo Mock Trial traveled to Orange County last weekend to compete in the CA State Championships. While the team went in with hopes of a State Championship, and the end result wasn’t as hoped, the MMT team had a strong performance regardless.

In the first round, Menlo had an unexpected loss to Gregori High of Stanislaus County. Coming off of that round, Menlo rattled off strong victories over Las Plumas (Butte County) and California (Contra Costa County). As the highest ranked 2-1 team in the tournament, the team was paired with Tamalpais; in a hard-fought and close rematch of the NorCal Semi-Finals Tamalpais came out on top before eventually winning the CA State Championship. With that loss, Menlo finished at 2-2 and in 14th place.

This round brings to a close a remarkable season for the MMT Varsity Crew; this team had two undefeated performances at Providence, an undefeated run through NorCal, and an undefeated run through County. Congratulations to Menlo’s graduating seniors: Tiffany Tam, Makayla Conley, Ben Shaw, Rishi Varma, Natalia Cordon, and Toni Rende.

Next up: Tiffany will represent Menlo one last time at the Gladiator Individual World Championships this summer, along with what is likely a small contingent from MMT.


County Individual Honors

Earlier this week, the San Mateo County Individual Awards were announced. Five Menlo students were honored:

  • Tiffany Tam (c/o 2018): Tiffany received the Plaque Honor (the highest level honor from county) for her role as a Trial Attorney. This was Tiffany’s 2nd honor of the year, and 6th honor overall. She had previously been recognized three times as a NorCal Attorney (once earlier this season), once as a Gladiator World Championships Honorable Mention, and last season with a trial attorney honorable mention at County. Tiffany received a record number of county nominations, the most individual nominations for award-recognition of any competitor, in any role, in any year. Tiffany now is tied for the 2nd most awards received by any Menlo Mock Trial competitor in history.
  • Makayla Conley (c/o 2018): Makayla was honored with a certificate of achievement, the 2nd highest level honor, for her role as a trial attorney. This is Makayla’s 2nd honor of the season, and 2nd overall. She was previously recognized with a 1st place defense trial attorney award at the NorCal Championship.s
  • Ashli Jain (c/o 2019): Ashli was honored for her performance as a defense pre-trial attorney with an Honorable Mention. This was her 2nd award of the season, and her 4th award overall. She previously received 1st place for the role at the NorCal Championships, and was recognized last year at both the NorCal and County levels.
  • Olivia Velten-Lomelin (c/o 2020): Olivia was honored for her performance as a witness, specifically Detective Carroll, with an Honorable Mention. This is Olivia’s second award for the role, and second overall. She earlier won recognition at the NorCal Championships with a 3rd place performance among witnesses in the role.
  • Ethan Yan (c/o 2020): Ethan was honored for his performance as prosecution pre-trial attorney with an Honorable Mention. This was 2nd award for the role this year, and 3rd overall. Ethan has won recognition both this year and last year for his pre-trial performances at the NorCal Championship.

All five competitors will be back in action when Menlo represents San Mateo County at the State Championships in a few weeks.

County Varsity & JV Champions!

Last week, Menlo Mock Trial successfully defended its San Mateo County Titles at both the JV and Varsity levels.

For the JV team, this was their 3rd County JV Title in a row, winning with a clean sweep over Hillsdale’s JV Squad in the JV Championship Round. The JV team extended its undefeated streak to 20 straight JV County Trials, dating back to the inception of the competition 3 years ago. The JV season comes to a close with this win.

For the Varsity team, this was their 8th County Title in a row (10th overall, and 10 of the last 11 years). With two trial victories over Hillsdale in the Championship Round, MMT extended its county win streak to a staggering 80 straight trials, a streak that begin during the 2010-2011 season. The Varsity team is also undefeated on the year, having won 28 straight trials (8-0 at Providence, 10-0 at NorCal, 10-0 at County). Menlo will carry that streak to the CA State Championships, held during March in Orange County.

Semi-Finals Update: Onto Finals

Last night, Menlo’s Varsity Squad faced off against Mills High in an attempt to earn the right to defend its title in the San Mateo County Championship Trial. MMT was successful, and will move on to the Championship Trial tomorrow night.

Menlo won both trials, extending its county win streak to 78-0 (with the last loss coming in the 2010 Final Round). This year’s team is also undefeated on the season, extending its win streak to a perfect 26-0 (8-0 at Providence, 10-0 at NorCal, 8-0 thus far in County). This year’s Championship Trial will be against Hillsdale, who Menlo has faced every year that MMT has appeared in the final round with the exception of last year. Hillsdale earned its place in the Championship Round with a dominant performance over San Mateo. A true match of top teams, Thursday night’s final proves to be a battle with the right to represent San Mateo County at the State Championships on the line.

Next Up: Both JV and Varsity compete in their respective County Championships on Thursday, February 15th. Varsity will attempt to earn their 8th bid in a row to the CA State Championships.