Fresno State’s Intercollegiate Mock Trial Program will host 24 teams in the West coast’s opening round of the national championship 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 25 and 26 including two of its own teams competing for a chance to advance to the national finals next month.

Opening ceremonies will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Student Recreation Center’s Leon Peters Auditorium (adjacent to Save Mart Center at Shaw and Woodrow). The competition will be in the Kremen Education building (Maple and Shaw) from both days.  Closing ceremonies will be at 6 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium.

Fresno State was selected to host the tournament because of its reputation with the American Mock Trial Association, built by hosting a reginal qualifying tournament for the past eight years on campus, said Fresno State mock trial coach Gordon Park, a Fresno attorney.

The 24 teams, from 16 western states schools, will compete to be one of the top six that will compete in the national finals in April at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Fresno State’s mock trial team competes nationally in events stretching from the UCLA to Yale University. The students debate a civil or criminal case, determined by the American Mock Trial Association, in a simulated jury trial.

This weekend, 20 Fresno State students make up the two Bulldogs teams:

  • Team Stark: Captains Kellie Hustedde and Juan Guzman will lead Sebastian Wenthe, Katie Bourdo, Tess Irving, Santhana Kongvilai, Cody Davis, Jacob Kelch, Sally Enoh and Nick Matoian.


  • Team Lannister: Captains Jackson Hadden and Micaela Cisneros-Nunez will lead Athena Niayesh, Jacob Benjamin, Nour Basharaheel, Mireya Gomez, Lauryn Flores, Tanner Morgan, Rawan Abuelreich and Colleen Busby.

Last year, Fresno State won a bid to compete at the opening round championship at the Santa Monica Courthouse by taking fifth place in a field of 16 teams from California, Texas and Oregon.

The mock trial team is also accepting donations to help with program costs. Supporters can donate at Check the box marked “College of Social Sciences” and write in “Mock Trial” in the box marked “Other.” Or, contact Dr. Michele DenBeste at

For more information, contact Park at 559.289.3040 or, attorney coach Chris Irwin, at 650.996.7610 or

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