Seven Youngstown State University students will compete this week in the national competition of the American Collegiate Moot Court Association after excelling at regional tournaments in the fall.
The nationals are Friday and Saturday at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe.
The YSU team of Catie Carney of Poland and Jacob Schriner-Briggs of Liberty qualified for the nationals by winning the Midwest Regional Tournament in late November at the College of Wooster in Wooster. The YSU team of Sean Varsho of Austintown and Mike Goldthwait of Liberty, placed second and also will compete in the finals. The YSU students defeated teams from schools throughout the Midwest.
“Few know what a tremendous accomplishment this is and how hard these students work,” said Atty. Ron Slipski, team coach and adjunct YSU professor. “At the end of the championship round, our two teams were told by the nine judges and lawyers who served as judges, that they argued their case better than most lawyers can. I am so proud that this year’s team is carrying forward the success of the past few years.”
Earlier in November, at the Great Lakes Regional Tournament in Saginaw, Mich., YSU student Melissa Wasser placed sixth in individual oratory and the freshman team of Andrik Massaro and Erik Glasgow finished in fifth place, qualifying them for the nationals as well.
At the competitions, students simulate presenting legal arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Schriner-Briggs said it was an honor to represent YSU.
“Catie and I are thrilled to have won, but we also understand that our success is a culmination of the work of many, our coach and teammates primary among them,” he said.
In aIl, 17 YSU students competed in the midwest tournament. In the individual oratory category, which included 80 competitors, the following YSU students placed in the top 20: Schriner-Briggs, fourth; Lindsey Harrison of Lords-town, fifth; Phil Sarnowski of Poland, 10th; Carney, 16th; Jen Reghetti of Warren, 18th; and Goldthwait, 19th.
Other YSU competitors were Matt Stevens of Canfield, Stephanie Ritchie of Youngstown, Nick Ramsey of New Middletown, Robert Miller of Vienna, Angelina Sortina of Niles, Donald Schuler of Youngstown and Paul Price of Niles.
Last year at nationals, YSU tied for the national champion in individual oratory and also took third in the nation in the category. YSU also placed a team into the final eight in the nation.
Teachers and members of the local legal community helped the students prepare for the competitions, including Seventh District Court of Appeals Judges Gene Donofrio and Mary DeGenaro; attorneys Carla Bulford, Megan Graff, Charles Oldfield, Brian Honen and Robert Budinsky; J. Dean Carro, director of Appellate Advocacy at the University of Akron School of Law, and Marla Carano, YSU’s College in High School program coordinator.