Four members of the Dos Pueblos High School mock-trial team arrived back in Santa Barbara safe and sound Thursday night.
During the past week, the team participated in the Empire World Championship Mock Trial Invitational, and also felt the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
Madeline Matthys, Nimisha Shinday, Hannah Cruz and Madeleine Centrella were embraced by friends and family at the Santa Barbara Airport.
Inside their luggage were two hard-won trophies — one for the team’s second-place finish in the prestigious competition, and the second was Matthys’ trophy for being the best defense attorney at the tournament.
In spite of being camped out at a Brooklyn hotel as they rode out the storm and an unusually long journey back to Santa Barbara, the four students were elated to be home and equally enthusiastic about the experience of forming new friendships and competing against 35 stellar teams from across the globe.
The rest of the team reached California later Thursday evening by way of Los Angeles International Airport. Santa Barbara Airbus transported those students and coaches back to Santa Barbara Barbara free of charge.
According to coach Bill Woodard, because of their extended stay in New York, the two California teams (Dos Pueblos and La Reina from Thousand Oaks) are hoping to work together to raise funds to pay the extra thousands of dollars needed to stay in New York until they were able to fly home.
Members of the Dos Pueblos mock-trial team are Alison Mally, Hannah Cruz, Nimisha Shinday, Madeline Matthys, Madeline Centrella, Delia Bullok, Camille Wyss, Sophia Zheng, Ami Thakrar, Bela Lafferty, Sean Strong. Coaches: Bill Woodard, Maureen Grattan, Joel Block and Scott Campbell.
— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.