Port Townsend High School’s Mock Trial team earned a third-place finish at the state championships, defeating teams from Seattle Academy, Columbia River High, and Mount Si High.
Students Maya Dow and Ava Butterfield of Port Townsend High earned a tie for Best Attorneys at the competition with five others from across Washington state.
Co-counsel Grace Kessler was also nominated for Best Attorney by at least one attorney rater, along with witnesses Elio Wentzel, Ezra Cook, Moe Gardner, Josephine Mack, and Ahwrey Smith.
The mock case covered by students this year was a complex affair involving the intersection of property access and liability for a ski resort. The defendant, Xtreme Ski Resort represented by Parker Dahkobed (Elio Wentzel) also maintained bike trails. When a mountain biker was seriously injured on one of the trails, they sued the resort for damages.
Port Townsend had many outstanding performances throughout the year in scrimmages and district competitions.
In addition to award winners at state, team members who brought fun and professionalism to the trials included Isabella Nunn, Sophia Arnovitz, Sophia Huber, Zoe Pruden, Britany Bivan, Stuart Dow, Hugh Wentzel, Zella Mack, Grey Kingfisher, Peter Giddens, and Biaani Egeler.
At the Kitsap District Competitions to qualify for the state championships, Maya Dow was also the Best Overall Attorney, with nominations going to Isabella Nunn, Zoe Pruden, Britany Bivian, Stuart Dow, and Ava Butterfield. Best Witness nominations at the district event went to Ahwrey Smith, Moe Gardner, Ezra Cook, Elio Wentzel, Josephine Mack, Peter Giddens, Isabella Nunn, Biaani Egeler, and Sophia Arnovitz.
Coach Chris Pierson said he was “super proud of the hard work, grace, and professionalism the students showed during the trials. Also, I’m thankful for local attorney coaches Brandon Mack, Michael Reiss, and Judge Mindy Walker for helping to guide the students.”
“Mostly, I’m proud of the seniors Maya Dow, Moe Gardner, Elio Wentzel and Sophia Arnovitz for their leadership and hard work. Maya deserved the Best Attorney award at state along with her co-counsel Ava Butterfield. I’m excited that we remain a very young team with lots of experience heading into next year,” Pierson added.
Students drew up a “legally binding” contract between the third and final round of the tournament, wherein Pierson agreed to have his nails painted with current designs if they defeated Seattle Academy in the final round and finish in the top five, which they did.