Mock Trial makes top two in county

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Photo provided by: Bhavika Bhagat

Both of Cam High's mock trial teams pose at the Ventura County Courthouse.

Cam High’s ‘Scorpions’ mock trial team has a chance to advance to state finals after facing Grace Brethren on Thursday.

The team began competition last Monday at the Ventura County courthouse and competed with two teams, Scorpions and First Instar, against 30 other schools from around the county. A first instar is the offspring of a scorpion, thus the name of the second team.

While First Instar  placed 17 among the 32 teams, the Scorpion team went on to the championship round against Grace Brethren High School of Simi Valley on Thursday. Results of that trial will be revealed on Monday, Feb. 29 at the county’s Mock Trial awards in Oxnard at the Performing Arts Center. The winner of Thursday’s competition gets to participate in the State Championships in Sacramento, California.

Since the composition of the team consists mainly of seniors, this will be their last chance to win on the state level. Mr. Shawn Near, adviser to the mock trial team, said that he is “optimistically confident” that the team will be able to rise to the state level.

The mock trial team has done well this year, as shown by their shared success. Out of the many members, Near said that Hannah Harris, senior, did especially well in her role as a witness, as did attorney Bhavika Bhagat, senior.

“Without sounding cliche, it’s pretty crazy,” said Harris. “We were all talking about it with our coaches, but we didn’t think that we’d be able to make it. As always, La Reina is always a big intimidation factor.” Perennial powerhouse La Reina High School of Thousand Oaks, reigning champions for a number of years in Mock Trial competition did not make the final round this year.

“To be honest, our chances of going to state are very good because we were quite evenly matched with the other team,” said Bhagat. “And I may be a little biased in saying this, but our witnesses were better than their witnesses, which might tip the scale in our favor.”

“I feel we performed very well. I feel like – I don’t want to jinx my self though – we won,” said Stinger writer and defense pre-trial attorney Omeed Tavasoli. “They were a really tough team, but I think we edged them out.”

The team remains excited for the incoming events. By this coming Monday, the team will know the results of the Thursday trial, and if they will have the chance to go to Sacramento and continue on into the state championships.

Dylan Lyon and Gaberiel Delacruz contributed to this story.