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Dos Pueblos High School Wins State Mock Trial Championship

Chargers claim first California title in 29 years, look forward to national championship tournament in Idaho in May

The state champion Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial Team proudly poses for a photo opportunity after Sunday’s 35th Annual California Mock Trial Finals awards ceremony in Sacramento. Click to view larger
The state champion Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial Team proudly poses for a photo opportunity after Sunday’s 35th Annual California Mock Trial Finals awards ceremony in Sacramento. (Dos Pueblos High School Charger Account photo)

The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team on Sunday beat Menlo School to win the 35th Annual California Mock Trial Championship in Sacramento.

Dos Pueblos earned the title after an intense, three-day competition played out in five trials against some of the state’s most talented teams. It is the first time Dos Pueblos has won in 29 years, making this win especially rewarding for the team.

“To hear our names next to first place, was the most gratifying, beautiful moment of my entire life,” exclaimed freshman Mariana Mezic, who played a defendant in Sunday’s case.

“I felt like everything I had done had just fit together in that moment like a puzzle piece.”

For senior Maggie Miller, a team captain and prosecution attorney, the victory was the culmination of the team’s hard work and dedication.

“I think (winning state) really shows the teamwork and education and family that we all have,” she said. “It’s a great way to end senior year, honestly, especially with something that was so — and is — so important to my life.”

Co-captain Nina Downey, another senior and a defense attorney, echoed Miller.

“We’re (the seniors) really going out with a bang, you know,” she said. “No matter what happens next, this is something that we can be proud of forever.”

Sophomore Susanna Sinclair is the prosecution clerk and the defense’s unofficial timekeeper.

“It’s just the most amazing thing to put so much work in this and know it all paid off,” she said.

Kelly Savio, the team’​s teacher coach, was exultant.

“The teams at the state level of competition are truly top-notch teams,” she said. “We were thrilled to earn the chance to compete against them, and we’re even more thrilled now to be heading to the national competition.

“Win or lose, we hope we make our school and community and state proud of us. We’ve worked to represent Santa Barbara County well!”

In addition to Downey and Miller, the mock trial team captains are seniors Jenny Rothman and Rafael Saavedra.

Team members are Adrien Abbud, Mario Aguirre, Maya Al Sabeh, Carrie Appel, Nils Brown, Luis Cardenas, Grace Crozier, Ryan Daniel, Cindy Diaz, Ainsley Diehl, Alexandra Edgar, Jeremy Embar, Rebecca Embar, Sydney Fry, Ruby Gans, Ishani Ghosh, Chloe Glikbarg, Leo Glikbarg, Aidan Haggerty, Jenny Jang, Dan Kelly, Hoku Kern, Miles Kretschmer, Aidan Lethaby, Natasha Lethaby, Damara Lopez-Nelson, Lola Macy, Paige Maho, Sequoia May, Eddy Mendoza, Mariana Mezic, Ally Mintzer, Keegan Noronha, Michelle Qin, Sophia Qin, Maya Reese, Jennie Rezek, Susanna Sinclair, Wyatt Spivak, Anjali Thakrar, Henry Urschel, Michael Wallis and Shaoni White.

Savio is joined by volunteer attorney coaches Joel Block, ​Deedrea Edgar, Susan Epstein, Sarah Knecht and Tyrone Maho.

Next up for Dos Pueblos is the national competition in May in Boise, Idaho.

— Damara Lopez-Nelson is a Dos Pueblos High School student and a reporter for The Charger Account. Connect with The Charger Account on Facebook.

(The Charger Account​ video)

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