With little time to prepare, Mock Trial still conquers Del Campo due to ability to think critically

The Country Day Mock Trial team beat Del Campo High School on Feb. 1 in Department 16 in the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse.

Senior Shriya Nadgauda pulled off an “impressive” feat according to teammates and coach Wayne Strumpfer. Although this was her first time as a pre-trial attorney and she was given her role merely weeks in advance, she scored 54 of 60 points.

“Shriya’s pre-trial was incredible,” teammate senior Zane Jakobs said.

According to a judge, Nadgauda had particularly strong responses to objections and good objections on cross-examinations.

“Excellent use of facts mixed with argument of the law,” a judge said.

“Seriously – you (Nadgauda) have great presentation and style.”

“She hasn’t had that role for very long and has had to learn tremendous amounts of case material last minute. The level to which she knew her material and could apply it was very aggressive.”

According to Strumpfer, Jakobs learned role as a victim and witness in only a week’s time yet still did well.

In fact, Strumpfer said that several roles were switched recently, so no one has had much time to practice.

Nonetheless, even the first-year witnesses (sophomore Brandy Riziki and freshman Savannah Rosenswag) were strong.

“The witnesses all did a really good job on cross examination in not letting the other team intimidate them,” Nadgauda said.

Already the team has obvious strengths.

“Our strength is our intelligence and ability to think critically (like lawyers)!” Strumpfer said.

Even better, as fewer students are in Mock Trial this year, there are more opportunities for experienced attorneys and witnesses to assist the less-experienced ones, he said.

“Our team this year is a real mix between first-year students and returnees,” Strumpfer said.

“I like how the students help each other.”

Nadgauda agreed.

I like having one team more,” Nadgauda said.

“I feel that the team is more unified, and now I can work with everyone. Having one team makes everyone work together better as a team.”

According to Strumpfer, last year’s two-team Mock Trial was an anomaly, as usually there aren’t enough people for multiple teams.

The team’s only weakness, according to Strumpfer, is the time constraint.

“Our weakness is not having (enough) time to put into the program because the students have so many other commitments,” Strumpfer said.

Other than that, it is still early in the season, and, naturally, they still need to get a bit more “polished.”

“I think our objections could be a bit stronger,” Nadgauda said.

The Mock Trial team faces off against Laguna High School in Department 17 at the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m.

The prosecuting attorneys are senior Jaelan Trapp and sophomores Gabi Alvarado and Jack Christian.

By Chardonnay Needler

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