Dos Pueblos Mock Trial team members react to the judges’ announcement. (Luis Medina/SBCEO)

After a close vote, Dos Pueblos High School’s team emerged victorious, edging out San Marcos High at the annual Santa Barbara County Mock Trial competition, which concluded March 3 at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

County Mock Trial tropy presented to winner.

County Mock Trial tropy presented to winner. (Luis Medina/SBCEO)

With the win, Dos Pueblos earned the honor of representing Santa Barbara County at the state competition, March 16-18 at Orange County Superior Court.

Saturday’s contest was the second successive weekend for mock trial competitors at the courthouse. Dozens of students from seven Santa Barbara County schools competed over the course of the trials.

Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley Union high schools had also advanced to this weekend’s events and were featured in the morning semifinal round.

“It’s been two great weeks of competition,” said Ellen Barger, an assistant superintendent with the Santa Barbara County Education Office, which organizes the annual event.

Barger, along with Judge Brian Hill, presented the trophy to the winning team.

“The deep preparation, critical analysis, and reasoned arguments that all of this year’s competitors demonstrated is a testimony to the effort they put into the competition, as well as a credit to the coaches who work so hard preparing their teams,” she said.

“It’s a thrill being a part of this competition,” said local attorney Tyron Maho, one of the coaches for the Dos Pueblos team.

“It’s a special privilege to get to represent the county at the upcoming state competition. We love seeing the hard work each of our team members has put in pay off like this,” Maho said.

“The skill, passion and poise each of the student competitors displayed is remarkable,” said County Superintendent Susan Salcido.

“We are grateful for their efforts, for the efforts of their parents and coaches, and for the support of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, whose assistance is instrumental in helping this competition thrive,” she said.

Thanks to those who presided over the past weekend’s round of competition: Chris Cobey, Judge Donna Geck; Judge Kay Kuns and retired Judge George Eskin; Judge Michael Carrazzo and Judge Brian Hill presided over the finals.

— David J. Lawrence for Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Ellen Barger of the Santa Barbara County Education Office presenting the trophy to Parker Freeman of Dos Pueblos.