The moment of the big win. Left to right, standing: Alexander Kokoshinskiy, Mariah Menaker, Vanessa Haggans, Henry Larson, Aidan Wiemer (leaning over), Maxim Kokoshinskiy (head turned, with glasses). At front table: Dafna Margalit, Thomas Huebler, Isabella Bowland and Trent Marbois. (photo by Carol McKay)

The verdict is in—

the Fairview High School mock trial team is the first Boulder Valley school to win the Colorado Mock Trial State Tournament. The competition, sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association, took place in Greeley in March. The Fairview team beat out more than 100 high school teams from across the state, and moved to the nationals in May. The team won one of its four cases at nationals.

The students spent about four months prepping for the trial, which involved a murder case. “It was intimidating,” says sophomore Maxim Kokoshinskiy, a witness for the Fairview team, “because there were two Supreme Court Justices of Colorado, two Court of Appeal Judges, two Practicing Attorneys and the head of Mock Trial all looking at you with poker faces as you told your story.”

His older brother, Alexander Kokoshinskiy, is a senior on the team who also felt the pressure. “The case this year was probably the most challenging one I have had in my four years of high school mock trial.”

Jim Lewis, a language arts teacher at Fairview High School, started the team eight years ago. This year he was assisted by two volunteer attorney coaches, Keith Edwards of Hutchinson Black and Cook, and Stephanie Brennan of Hurth, Sisk and Blakemore. Says Lewis: “We have a great group of kids we’re working with this year, and we’re also grateful to have an immense amount of support from the family members of our teammates.”

—Sara Bruskin