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March 4, 2005
Contact: Ryan Faulconer, KU Mock Trial, (719) 661-0819.

KU Mock Trial teams earn two national tournament berths with regional wins

LAWRENCE -- For the second consecutive year, the University of Kansas Mock Trial program has qualified both its teams for national tournament competition by placing in the top seven at a regional competition Feb. 18 and 19 at Washburn University in Topeka. The accomplishment represents the seventh time in their eight-year history that KU Mock Trial teams have qualified for national competition.

KU's Team 864, the more experienced team, finished in third place to earn a bid to the gold national championship tournament April 8 through 10 in Des Moines, Iowa. Team 865 finished in a tie for sixth place and qualified for the silver national tournament March 10 through 13 at St. Petersburg, Fla. At that tournament, three teams each from two divisions will qualify for the gold national tournament.

The KU Mock Trial program comprises two teams: Team 864 and Team 865, a silver or novice team of first- and second-year participants. During the fall semester, the teams traveled to four invitational tournaments and hosted 20 teams at the first Jayhawk Invitational Tournament. For the 2004-05 season, KU's overall program record is the best in its history at 84-35-1, with 29 individual awards, three tournament titles, one first-place tie and six additional finishes in the top five.

To qualify for national Mock Trial competitions, both KU teams competed against 26 schools from Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota. From the Topeka competition, the top three teams are eligible to compete in the national championship tournament. Teams placing fourth through seventh earned bids to one of two silver national championship competitions.

In November, KU teams also took home trophies for two tournaments. Team 864 won the Blues City Challenge Rhodes Cup in Memphis, Tenn. Team 865 won the first University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroo Court Challenge. In addition, Team 864 placed first and Team 865 third at the Jayhawk Invitational, where KU students earned eight of the 20 individual awards.

KU Mock Trial participants also went to fall tournaments at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Team 864 placed in the top five of both of those tournaments.

In January, Team 864 placed 13th out of 38 teams at the University of California-Los Angeles invitational competition. Team 864 tied for first place at the Columbia University Big Apple Invitational in New York, N.Y., and Team 865 placed third at the Mid-Missouri Invitational at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

KU finished second out of 62 teams Jan. 28-29 at the National Tri-State Invitational in Dubuque, Iowa.

Program sponsors include KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, the KU School of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success, Student Senate and Scott Kaiser of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, a Kansas City, Mo., law firm. Stephen McAllister, KU law dean, is faculty adviser. Branden Bell, third-year KU law student, coaches KU's Mock Trial teams.

Participating team members are listed by name, hometown, major, parents' names, high schools, team designation and/or office held and tournament award summaries, if available:

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Leawood
Stephanie Heady, freshman in political science, daughter of Scott and Cindy Heady; Shawnee Mission East High School; Team 865 captain; two outstanding attorney awards.
Daniel Singer, sophomore in political science and pre-law, son of Sheldon and Cindy Singer; Blue Valley North High School; Team 864; one outstanding attorney award and one outstanding witness award.

From Lenexa
Justin Puch, freshman in political science and pre-law, son of Michelle Farrell; DeSoto High School; Team 865.

From Olathe
Caitlin Davies, freshman in religious studies and Spanish, daughter of Carolyn Elrod; Olathe South High School; Team 865; best witness at UMKC Kangaroo Court Challenge in addition to two more outstanding witness awards there.
Margaret Lubberts, freshman in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, daughter of Albert Lubberts; Olathe South High School; Team 864 and Mock Trial Program vice president; one outstanding attorney award and three outstanding witness awards.
Shandy Soleimani, junior in political science, son of Massoud and Sheila Soleimani; Olathe South High School; Team 864; three outstanding witness awards.
Tai Vokins, junior in political science; Shawnee Mission South High School; Team 864; one outstanding attorney award.

From Shawnee
Danielle Davey, senior in psychology and political science, daughter of Vickie Miller; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Team 864 captain and director of the first Jayhawk Invitational Mock Trial Tournament; two outstanding witness awards.
Angela Carlon, junior in international studies and political science, daughter of Gil and Lil Carlon; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Team 865 captain and Mock Trial program treasurer; top attorney award plus two additional outstanding attorney awards at Kangaroo Court Challenge.

COLORADO
From Colorado Springs
Ryan Faulconer, senior in political science, son of Forrest and Maria Faulconer; Cheyenne Mountain High School; Team 864 captain and Mock Trial program president; 11 outstanding attorney awards during the 2004-05 season, including top overall score trophy at Iowa.

ILLINOIS
From Bethalto
Kaleigh Bassett, sophomore in history and political science, daughter of Lynn Bassett; Civic Memorial High School; Team 865.

NEBRASKA
From Omaha
Maureen Kiteley, freshman in English and pre-law, daughter of Mary and Tim Kiteley; Marian High School; Team 865.

OKLAHOMA
From Broken Arrow
Branden Bell, third-year law student, coaches the Mock Trial teams.

TEXAS
From Colleyville
Michael Minea, junior in computer engineering, son of Richard and Debra Minea; Grapevine Senior High School; Team 864 and organization Web master.

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