National Championship Success for Northwood’s Mock Trial Team

Northwood University’s mock trial team concluded a stellar season this past weekend at the National Championship Tournament in St. Paul, Minnesota. Less than seven percent of the 713 mock trial teams nationwide earn a bid to the tournament.

Northwood defeated teams from Stanford University and Northwestern University, but narrowly lost to the University of Rochester and Lafayette College.

“The success of our team this year was truly a result of hours of dedicated analysis of the case, argumentation, critical thinking, assessing feedback, and practice with teammates and others,” said DeLois Leapheart, Northwood law professor and director of mock trial. “I am excited about our results, and even more optimistic about the future of our young team.”

Students competing at the NCT included:

  • Richard Ascherl, a freshman from Hartland, Michigan
  • Nick Freeman, a junior from Shelby Township
  • Christopher Grant, a junior from Tampa, Florida
  • Simeon Lawrence, a sophomore from Elyria, Ohio
  • Parker Lukenbill, a sophomore from Fenton
  • Zach Messner, a junior from Hartland
  • Kristopher Murphy, a sophomore from Grand Rapids
  • Alexis Rabidue, a sophomore from West Bloomfield Township
  • Jacob Walters, a freshman from Mount Pleasant, and
  • Karli Zubek, a sophomore from Tawas City

Grant was recognized individually as both defense attorney and prosecutor, netting him a total point value that earned him honors as the top All-American Attorney at the National Championship Tournament. On the witness side, Zach Messner earned an All-American Witness Award for his portrayal of FBI Agent Kelly James.

In addition to the competition team, five “champions-in-training” also assisted the team, including: Belleville, Michigan, native Nick Andres, Hamilton native Steven Redder, Hemlock native Alexis Thornton, Ashton Brooks and Joshua Weckesser, both from Midland.

The team was financially supported by the Dow Chemical Company.


About Northwood University

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at a full-service, residential campus located in mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in multiple states and online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan and Texas. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.