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East Central University’s College Mock Trial Team took third place during the University of Oklahoma’s Sooner Invitational at the OU College of Law last weekend.

The competition featured 10 teams from various universities in the region. The ECU team competed in two preliminary rounds, one against a team from the University of Texas-Arlington and the other from the University of Houston.

ECU finished the preliminary rounds, ranked fourth out of the 10 teams and was able to advance to the semifinals against the top seed from the University of Arkansas. The other semifinal featured OU and the University of Tulsa.

“I am especially proud of our team because we had an emergency replacement occur the morning of the competition when one of our witnesses had a dental emergency that rendered her unable to compete,” said Preston Draper, assistant professor of political science and legal studies at ECU.

Draper explained that one of the attorney players - Jack Langley of Stratford/Pauls Valley - ended up twice taking on witness roles – one per session. Another of the attorneys - Wil Crawford of Ada – volunteered to fill the then-vacant attorney seat in all three rounds. Another of the witnesses, Kate Springer of Maud, also had to compete in all three rounds because of the role positions she was assigned.

“I’m very proud of these students and their efforts,” Draper said. “We will be competing in February in a regional competition. Although most of our team is made up of legal studies and political science students, we have one math major and one biology major on our team as well.”

Members of the team besides Crawford, Langley and Springer are: Carly Heitland; Ginger Johnson, of Broken Arrow; Kenny Chambless, Sasakwa and Alex Sprenger, Owasso, as attorneys. Other witnesses include: Alex Courtney, Atoka; Heather Hall, Oklahoma City; Bianka Mader, Nassau, Bahamas and Kassie Batt, Shawnee. Kate Draper, of Ada, and Skyler Riddle, of Lindsay, provided logistical support.



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