The horde of Rutgers debaters at UMBC gathers for the team picture after Chris & Ashley's final round appearance. Left to right: Russell Potter, Adam Bomeisl, Thomas O'Rourke, Stephen Yellin, Nisha Kumar, Storey Clayton, Kyle Bomeisl, Chris Bergman, Kurt Falk, Ashley Novak, Daimler Vadlamuri, Bhargavi Sriram, Jason Boyle, Arbi Llaveshi, Asher Wasserman, Aditya Singh, Alex Jubb, Quinn Maingi, Dave Reiss, Sarthi Tuli, Henry Phipps, and Emmy Calloway (Brandeis).
The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) had its best weekend of the semester to close out Fall 2011, breaking three teams to varsity quarterfinals and placing four speakers each in the varsity and novice speaker rankings. Most vitally, Chris Bergman & Ashley Novak reprised their run to the final round from last year’s UMBC tournament, this time losing a showcase round in finals to American University after defeating Johns Hopkins in quarters and semis.

Here’s the long list of Rutgers accomplishments at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County this weekend:
Chris Bergman & Ashley Novak – 2nd Team
Kyle Bomeisl & Adam Bomeisl – 5th Team
Arbi Llaveshi & Bhargavi Sriram – 8th Team
Kyle Bomeisl – 3rd Speaker
Arbi Llaveshi – 5th Speaker
Stephen Yellin – 9th Speaker
Chris Bergman – 10th Speaker
Nick Guida – 1st Novice Speaker
Henry Phipps – 4th Novice Speaker
Kurt Falk – 6th Novice Speaker
Alex Jubb – 10th Novice Speaker

The quarterfinals breaks were the fourth for the brothers Bomeisl as a team this year and the first as a partnership for Arbi & Bhargavi. The speaker award was also Arbi’s first ever, while Stephen joined him as a first-time speaker-award winner. Nick and Henry meanwhile both will debut in the Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings at semester, placing a league-high seven (7) novices from Rutgers on that list, more than any other college or university on APDA.

Ashley, Kyle, Adam, Arbi, and Bhargavi now all have points toward nationals qualification, with Ashley the closest at 12 of the necessary 14 points to qualify. Chris and Quinn Maingi are currently qualified for the National Championships, to be held in April at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

RUDU remains ranked ninth overall in the nation at the end of the semester, behind the University of Chicago and ahead of the College of William and Mary. Rutgers had never finished higher than 24th in the nation before last year’s 5th overall ranking at year’s end.