Tracy High School placed second in the San Joaquin County Mock Trial Championship on Saturday, and students from Tracy and Mountain House high schools took home multiple individual awards.
Teams from 11 high schools entered the competition earlier in the year, and the top four — Venture Academy, Tracy High, Mountain House High and Merlo Institute of Environmental Technology — vied for the championship Saturday at the San Joaquin County Courthouse in Stockton.
Students argued both sides of the fictional case of People v. Matsumoto, in which Bailey Masumoto, the founder of a technology startup that develops self-driving trucks, is charged with the murder of spouse Taylor Masumoto. They portrayed attorneys, witnesses, the defendant and various courtroom staff members, including bailiffs and clerks. Local judges and attorneys volunteered to oversee and score the competition as the judge and jury in each mock trial.
Tracy High School got second place overall, followed by Mountain House in third place. The county champion, Venture Academy, will represent San Joaquin County at the state competition March 20-22 in Los Angeles.
Reyva Dhillon, a Tracy High senior, was awarded the honorable John F. Cruikshank Jr. Spirit Award. She was also recognized as one of 12 top attorneys, along with Tracy High teammate Kyle Vergara and Julienne Abing from Mountain House High.
The top 12 witnesses included Ellie Colonese from Tracy High and Avni Singh and Charlee Evans from Mountain House. Singh was also named one of two top pretrial prosecutors.
Mitchell Bauer of Mountain House High was one of two top clerks.
Mountain House also had the top courtroom artist, Adrian Kiswani, and top journalist, Palwasha Kahn.
The coaches of the Tracy High team gave awards for Best Prosecution and Best Defense to Natasha Rodriguez, who portrayed an attorney, and Peter Xiao, who portrayed medical expert Dr. Wolpert.