Wooster Students Earn All-American Honors at Moot Court Nationals
A total of 16 participants represent Wooster; eight achieve All-American status
WOOSTER, Ohio — Eight students from The College of Wooster earned All-American honors at the 2012 American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament, which was hosted by Chapman University School of Law in Orange County, Calif., earlier this month (Jan 13-14).
Stephen Perrott, a junior from New Castle, Pa., led the way with a trifecta — All-American honors in three categories. He was chosen as one of the Top 10 Orators (finishing eighth overall) and joined sophomore teammate Andrea Patton in advancing to the Round of 32 and finishing third in the Brief Writing competition.
“It is always gratifying to represent The College of Wooster and compete with a level of confidence that is developed through the rigorous academic challenges that Wooster and the Moot Court program provides,” said Perrott. “It is our goal to improve on the team’s history of sustained success by continuing to qualify the maximum amount of teams that the national tournament permits and continuing to compete with various institutions at the national level in both oral argument and brief writing.”
Six of Wooster’s eight team’s “broke” into the second day of competition, led by juniors Janet Zahorsky and Rachel Shonebarger, who earned All-American honors by making it to the quarterfinals. Also earning All-American honors were senior John Carter and junior Amanda Collins, as well as senior Jacob Sklar and sophomore Erica Rickey.
“If you look at our team, we are represented by a very diverse group,” said Zahorsky. “We have students from almost every aspect of student life at Wooster,” she said. “We also have international students on the team. We are all so diverse; but, in every step of the way, we have worked with each other to become better.”
Mark Weaver, professor of political science and head coach of Wooster’s Moot Court team, expressed disappointment about being eliminated in the quarterfinals but praised his participants for their efforts. “I think we were just as well prepared and competitive as we were last year, but the judging is necessarily subjective, and this year we lost several close rounds that we won last year,” he said. “I was impressed by the hard work, commitment, and solidarity that our team exhibited throughout the year.”
Also competing for Wooster at nationals were the duos of sophomores Mae Manupipatpong and Eric Petry, who netted honorable mention honors for their Brief for Respondent; sophomore Daniel Cohen and senior Leann Do; seniors Scott Merrifield and Cassandra Zavis; and sophomores Rachel Myers and Daniel Ikuma.
Overall, 270 teams competed in eight ACMA regional tournaments (including the Midwest Regional at Wooster, which was the largest) to qualify for the national tournament. A total of 80 teams from 35 different colleges and universities received bids to this year’s national competition.
“There is truly no equal to being a part of The College of Wooster’s Moot Court team,” said Rickey. “The fact that we are among the best teams in the nation speaks to the quality of the team itself as well as to the superb coaching we receive from Professor Weaver. I am so proud to say that I am a part of Wooster's excellent Moot Court program.”
Carter voiced similar sentiments. "There should never be any doubt about the value of having a Moot Court team,” he said. “As a senior preparing for a life after Wooster, I can already see the skills that I have been able to gain and improve in the last four years. Without a doubt, Wooster will claim another national title in the next few years.”