Hillsdale takes three to gladiator '23: Pooja agarwal takes ninth overall; nikki donovan wins top sophomore; jack spillner wins nobility award
From June 21-23, Pooja Agarwal, Jack Spillner, and Nikki Donovan traveled to Atlanta, GA to compete at the Gladiator 1-on-1 Championship. The case, United States v. Blake Crosby, involved the alleged murder of a controversial Presidential candidate by a former Army sniper from the roof of a hotel in downtown Decatur, GA. The candidate was hit by a sniper bullet during a rally in Decatur Square. Competitors tried both sides of the case as attorneys, and played both witnesses over four rounds. Congratulations to Pooja Agarwal who finished in the top 10 for the second year in a row. Good luck at Berkeley! Congratulations to Nikki Donovan for winning top sophomore of the competition, along with a full scholarship to the Top Mock mock trial camp next summer at Furman College. And congratulations to Jack Spillner for winning the Nobility Award, given to that competitor who best exemplifies the spirit of civility, professionalism, and fair play. Jack was also selected by his fellow competitor to play the defendant in the championship round. Awesome job!
This past weekend Hillsdale sent three teams to the Tournament of Champions, an on-line tournament put on by Mock On Academy, In the case, Mooreville v. Danny Seaside, the defendant was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy in the $150 million heist of the Bellagia Casino. It was one of the most complex and interesting cases Hillsdale teams have tackled. In a 28-team international field, Hillsdale's A Team finished first in the Casino Division and advanced to the championship to face Henrico, the defending champion and reigning VA state champion. Hillsdale fell in a very close match against a fantastic team. Hillsdale's B team finished fourth (of 14) in the Robbers Division. Hillsdale's C Team made a strong showing but did not place. Rhea Jain and Pooja Agarwal won the top witness awards. Pooja, along with Cole Baker and Jack Spillner also took home top attorney awards. Team B also won the Civility Award. The final was live-streamed on YouTube, which you can watch here.
On April 28-29 Hillsdale sent two freshmen, M Thompson and Melody Puls, to Princeton, New Jersey for the 2023 Princeton Moot Court as part of a 68-team national field. Attorneys were asked to make an appellate argument on three issues: 1. whether a prison regulation denying a prisoner the right to take a high school chemistry class violated the First Amendment, 2. whether education is a fundamental right supported by the Constitution, and 3. whether the prison's denial of the right to an education violated the prisoner's right to due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments. Each team had 20 minutes to present their arguments. After seventh tough rounds, M and Melody came home with the fourth place trophy. It was the first time either had competed in a moot court competition. Congratulations!
This year's senior class is one of the most talented and skilled group of mock trialers that has ever come through the program. They have won county championships, finished second at states, placed high at national competitions, and won a number of individual awards at the county, state, and national level. But that is not the most important thing about them. They also some of the kindest, most generous, committed, selfless, collaborative, and hard-working group of students the program has seen, truly. It is those qualities that will leave their mark on this program. And it is the example they've set to those that will follow them that will be their legacy. Every year, we ask the seniors to try to leave the program, in one way or another, in a better place than where they found it. They have certainly done that, and much, much more. We will miss them.
Hillsdale won its 5th straight JV Championship on February 16 in a very close match against an extraordinarily talented Menlo School team. You can see the moment of victory below.
On January 7 and 8 Hillsdale and Lynbrook sponsored the first Bay Area Bash with a field of eight teams at Hillsdale High School. After four rounds, Trinity Pacific Christian School took home the championship. It was pleasure, and a lot of fun, to host some of the best team and competitors from around the state. It will now be an annual event! Congratulations to Trinity for coming out on top and to Carmel and Tam for rounding out the top three. Congratulations also to the award winners below:
Hillsdale recently sent three competitors to the Gladiator Olympics, a national mock trial skills competition sponsored by Stand Up Mock Trial and Mock On Academy. Students were given People v. Hancock, an attempted murder case set at a rally for a controversial political candidate. Students then chose among four different categories--pretrial, direct examination, opening statements, and closing arguments. Competitors submitted videos and the six finalists presented live on YouTube. Out of hundreds of entries from the around the country two Hillsdale students, Nikki Donovan and Jack Spillner, made the live medal rounds. After all was said and done, Nikki Donovan won the bronze medal in the closing argument category, and Jack Spillner won gold in the opening category. Congratulations Nikki and Jack! Big props also to Cole Baker who didn't medal but submitted a fantastic opening argument.
After a fantastic and competitive tryout season, Hillsdale's teams are set and ready to go. Congratulations to our new members!
Hillsdale's Pooja agarwal and Jack spillner place 5th and 6th at gladiator; Jack also takes home top witness award
This weekend in a national field of 44 of the best mock trialers in the country, Pooja Agarwal and Jack Spillner finished in 5th and 6th place, respectively (the two highest any Hillsdale student has placed at Gladiator). In the case, United States v. Augie Shepard, the government charged Atlanta mob boss Augie Shepard with murder and retaliation against a witness. The government alleged that Shepard, while on a college trip to UCLA with his 18-year old, spotted a mob "rat" in downtown Los Angeles and murdered him the night before Shepard was to return to Atlanta. The "rat" - a former mob member now in witness protection - was strangled by a pair of jumper cables at the home where he had been relocated. Jack and Pooja competed both as government and defense attorneys, as well as both witnesses over two days. Jack also received Gladiator's top witness award, and received a full scholarship to Top Mock mock trial camp at Furman University for finishing as one of the top rising juniors.
Hillsdale Mock Trial
The Hillsdale Mock Trial team is the competitive mock trial team for Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.
Visit our Instagram Feed Below!