After winning their third round, the Mock Trial team is currently undefeated in the annual Gordon D. Schaber (GDS) competition.

GDS, coordinated by The Sacramento County Office of Education, hosts 20 local teams from the Sacramento area.

Other high schools that attended the Feb. 24 competition included Rio Americano, Cordova, St. Francis and El Camino.

In the Feb. 24 round, held at the GDS Sacramento County Courthouse, Country Day’s defense team won a decisive victory against Rio Americano’s team two.

Last year, Rio’s team two placed second, while SCDS placed sixth.

“Our pre-trial argument was stronger, and our openings and closings were persuasive,” said Jeanine Boyers, the Mock Trial head coach.

“They were all amazing. (Sophomore Akilan Murugesan) was so believable and natural on the stand as a witness,” she said.

Freshman Shriya Nadgauda, an expert witness, agreed.

“Rio knew their facts and cross questions really well, but their witnesses had a bit too much personality,” she said.

“It all seemed very fake. One of the witnesses was always super smiley,” said junior Grant Miner, pre-trial attorney.

In addition, sophomore attorney Emma Belliveau said that Rio’s arguments were harder to follow.

“We have good pace and tone. Rio had basically one stream of consciousness and the same tone the entire time,” she said.

The team is on their way to quarterfinals with one more match against Sheldon High School’s defense on Feb. 26.

Despite the success, Boyers does see room for improvement.

“We still have some evidence that we don’t quite understand. For example, character evidence is hard because of the multi-level arguments,” she said.

“There are many different exceptions to keeping character evidence out of the trial which makes it difficult. It just depends so much on the judge,” said Aishwarya Nadgauda, Mock Trial team captain.

Nonetheless, Boyers views winning as a realistic goal.

“Every time after we compete we learn something new,” she said.

“If we continue to improve we have a very good chance of getting into the finals.”

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