California High was crowned champion of the 33rd annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial competition last week.
The Cal High team, playing the role of the prosecution, defeated the defense team from rival Miramonte High in a Martinez courtroom on Feb. 25. The final results were released Friday.
"It is a treat to see how well you all perform," Presiding Judge Barry Goode said to the participants at an award ceremony on Friday. "We look forward in seeing you all come back in about seven years -- I know you can do this for real."
The competition pitted local teams in one-on-one matchups as prosecution and defense in a mock criminal trial. The case centered around a high school senior being tried for counts of second-degree murder and drug sales after authorities alleged he sold prescription Adderall to a fellow student who had a known heart condition and died after taking the pills.
To prepare, students conducted legal research and received guidance from teachers and volunteer attorneys and judges.
In total, teams from 18 Contra Costa County high schools competed throughout February leading up to the final courtroom showdown between Cal High from San Ramon and Miramonte from Orinda.
San Ramon's Dougherty Valley High finished fourth, and Danville's Monte Vista High reached the quarterfinals.
This marked Cal High's fifth victory since the program began in 1982. Miramonte, which beat Cal High in the 2012 and 2013 finals, had won 10 of the previous 12 championships.
Cal High will represent the county at the state competition in San Jose on March 21-23. The California finalist will advance to the National Mock Trial Competition held May 8-10 in Madison, Wis.
To see the full Contra Costa results or to learn more information, visit the county's Office of Education website.