They came within an eyelash of victory.

In what proved to be a real nail-biter, the Palmerton Area High School Mock Trial Team lost this year's District 5 final by a mere one point to Northampton High School.

The team, which entered the competition as the defending District 5 champion, had turned away prior challenges from Pen Argyl, Pottsville Nativity BVM, Antietam and Liberty high schools.

Team members are Frank Jay Hall, Jillian Renninger, Samantha K. Smith, Jordan Ruzicka, Kevin Seemiller, Brent Green, Karl Pielmeier, Charles Sterling, Danielle Eastgate, Laurel Seemiller and Michelle Rickert.

Audrey Larvey, team adviser, said the team had prepared their case since they received the necessary information at the start of this past November.

"This preparation involves an extensive commitment of time," Larvey said. "Students meet every day during flex from December until competition begins in early February."

Larvey said Steven Vlossak, Esq., graciously served as the team's legal adviser the past five years.

During that time, the team has qualified for the District 5 championship three times. In that time, it won the event twice, at which point it moved on to the Regional competition.

In the past four years, both Palmerton teams have qualified for at least the quarter finals, Larvey said. This year, she said Palmerton only fielded one team.

There are 24 schools that participate in District 5, which comprises an area that includes Carbon, Schuylkill, Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks counties.