The Rutgers contingent at Pitt gathers before the Cathedral of Learning in the failing light of one of RUDU’s most successful days on record. Left to right: Shireen Hamza, Sean Leonard, Nisha Kumar, Deepta Janardhan, Meryem Uzumcu, Bhargavi Sriram, Arbi Llaveshi, Kurt Falk, Adam Bomeisl, Alex Jubb, Russell Potter, Storey Clayton, and Henry Phipps. No team picture was taken at Columbia, where two varsity teams broke and several more teams attended.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) broke more varsity teams in one weekend than ever before with four varsity teams advancing to elimination rounds across two tournaments. The previous record had been three teams advancing to the varsity break, set at the University of Virginia in spring 2011.

At Columbia University, Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette and Chris Bergman & Quinn Maingi broke to varsity octofinals at the largest tournament of the year so far, featuring 110 total teams. Novak was third speaker, which should put her in the top ten speakers of the year when the rankings are updated later this week.

Several hours west, at the University of Pittsburgh, Adam Bomeisl & Russell Potter and Arbi Llaveshi & Bhargavi Sriram made varsity quarterfinals. Bomeisl was sixth speaker, making him the third RUDU debater to join the national speaker rankings in just the third tournament of the year. Sean Leonard & Meryem Uzumcu also won novice finals for the first time in Leonard’s third straight appearance in the novice final round.

Here is the long list of official accomplishments notched this past weekend for RUDU:
Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette – 12th Team
Chris Bergman & Quinn Maingi – 14th Team
Ashley Novak – 3rd Speaker
Adam Bomeisl & Russell Potter – 7th Team
Bhargavi Sriram & Arbi Llaveshi – 8th Team
Kurt Falk & Alex Jubb – 10th Team
Henry Phipps & Deepta Janardhan – 11th Team (lost tiebreaker with 10th)
Adam Bomeisl – 6th Speaker
Russell Potter – 11th Speaker (lost tiebreaker with 10th)
Sean Leonard & Meryem Uzumcu – Novice Champions
Sean Leonard – 2nd Novice Speaker

Next weekend is the Novice Tournament at Swarthmore College, after which the official Novice of the Year (NOTY) season begins.

RUDU will be in action on the Rutgers University campus tonight for the Constitution Day Debate at 8:00 PM in the Douglass Campus Center. Novak & Morrisette will Gov against Sriram & Llaveshi.