Owasso High School’s Audrey Cantrell Team Wins Championship
Owasso High School’s Team Audrey Cantrell with their first-place trophies.
Lauren Hughes (left) won best attorney and Ariel Grimes won best witness for Team Audrey Cantrell.
(March 7, 2018 – OKLAHOMA CITY) Owasso High School’s Audrey Cantrell team placed first and Owasso High School’s Sydney Hazelrigg team placed second in the Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Competition.
For the first time in the history of the Mock Trial Program, two teams from the same school competed in the finals. The final round of competition was held Tuesday evening at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman. The two teams argued a case that focused on a homicide case, where the creator and lead singer of a band was charged with the murder of the band’s lead guitarist. The case is complicated by the fact that the cause of death is being disputed as a blood clot by the expert for the defense.
“I am proud of all of the hard work these students did to prepare for this competition,” Oklahoma Bar Association President Kimberly Hays of Tulsa said. “Both teams did an excellent job, and I know the Owasso Audrey Cantrell team will represent Oklahoma well at the national competition in Reno, Nevada, in May. No matter the outcome, the students are able to take away useful skills and a better understanding of our legal system. That to me is a win.”
This year’s winner of the best attorney award for the Audrey Cantrell team was Lauren Hughes with Ariel Grimes honored as the best witness.
The judges evaluated the students based on their familiarity of the case and the formulation of their arguments. Students received points for each phase of the trial, opening, direct and cross examination, closing argument and how well their witnesses responded. Teams are paired with volunteer attorney coaches. The Owasso teams were coached by attorneys Judge Deirdre Dexter, Judge Daman Cantrell, Ken Underwood, Michon Hughes and Clint Hastings and teacher Kathy Rutherford.
Owasso High School’s Audrey Cantrell team members are Isabel Cevallos, Camila Cevallos, William Dienicio, Ariel Grimes, Lauren Hughes, Mandy Huo, Grace Nosak, Tyler Owens, Kyler Patton, Chloe Thorsen and Caitlin Thoumire.
Out of the 42 teams across the state that began competing in January, the other top finishers are, in third place: Bishop Kelly in Tulsa; fourth: Owasso High School KB Team; fifth: McAlester High School Black Team; sixth: Mustang High School; seventh: Broken Arrow High School Black Team and eighth: Stillwater High School. Owasso had five teams participate in the program.
Presiding judge for the final round of the competition was Retired Judge Edward Cunningham. Scoring judges were Justice Patrick Wyrick, Judge Sarah Hall, Judge David Lewis, Judge Shon Erwin and Judge Jequita Napoli.
The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Nearly 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.
“While students can gain similar skills in other high school courses, the Mock Trial Program is different because of the interaction and collaboration with legal professionals,” President Hays said. “I’d like to thank all of the coaches and volunteers who made this year’s program a success.”
The foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like mock trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law, education and access to justice. The 18,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.