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Greensburg Salem finishes 2nd in statewide mock trial competition

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Sunday, March 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Greensburg Salem High School's mock trial team fell on Saturday in the state finals to Quigley Catholic High School from Beaver County in the 30th annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide High School Mock Trial competition in Dauphin County.

“It's quite an accomplishment to be second in the state,” said Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr., an adviser to the team. “I think it's just a great job the kids have done.”

Greensburg Salem won quarterfinal rounds on Friday to advance to the semifinals and finals.

Twelve teams from across the state — from an initial field of more than 300 ­— advanced to the state tournament, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

During the competition, eight-member student teams are given the chance to argue both sides of a case in an actual courtroom before a judge. The students play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants.

Members of the Greensburg Salem team are Kenneth Clark, Anna George, Caitlin Hensel, Paige Kemsey, Garrett King, Lauren Nicassio, Theodore Russell and Courtney Wright.

The teacher-coaches are Elizabeth Butler Simone and Judith Washburn. Attorney Eric H. Dee advises alongside McCormick.

Greensburg Salem's victory over Franklin Regional sent it to the state competition for the 12th time in 13 years. Greensburg Salem won state titles in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or

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