Iowa State's Mock Trial Teams place in Omaha competition

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's Mock Trial Teams placed third and fifth in Creighton University's Blue Jay Open in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 19-20.

More than two dozen teams from Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin participated in the competition designed to test courtroom skills.

"When they announced that our team got fifth place, we were all excited," said Gabriella Kish, the president of Iowa State's Mock Trial Team. "And when they announced we also got third place, it was unbelievable."

The high finish is especially satisfying for the ISU team and represents an improvement over their two previous tournaments this year at Luther College in Decorah and Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Mock Trial is often considered an activity for students who plan to pursue a law degree after college, but not ISU's team.

"We don't consider ourselves a pre-law activity," said Kish, a junior from Des Moines who does plan on going to law school. "More than half of the team isn't in political science or planning on law school. It's really a test of logic and thinking on your feet."

"We also are a completely student-run organization," she said. "Unlike almost every other we compete against, we don't even have a coach."

ISU's Jim Hathaway was recognized individually as an Outstanding Attorney for the competition while Erik Howell was honored as an Outstanding Witness.

Third place team members:

Gabriella Kish

Thomas Bullock

Chenru Zheng

Kerensa Sheker

Ruth Appleton

Ryan Melton

Kevin Hathaway

Sven Nelson

Fifth place team members:

Jim Hathaway

Christina Russell

Jen Duitsman

Tim Reineke

Erik Howe

Shane Roberts

Alex Moran

Ralph George