Rutgers debaters celebrate their extensive victories at UVA with the now traditional southern stop at Waffle House. Left to right: Dave Reiss, Thomas O'Rourke, Chris Bergman, Ashley Novak, Gordon Morrisette, Bhargavi Sriram, Farhan Ali, Storey Clayton, Kyle Bomeisl, and Adam Bomeisl. (Photo credit: our favorite WH waitress in Maryland.)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) put up one of its most impressive performances of the season at the University of Virginia this past weekend, breaking three teams to quarterfinals and placing extensively in both the varsity and novice speaker rankings. It was the first time in team history that three teams made the varsity break at the same tournament.

Here are the many accomplishments RUDU notched at UVA:
Kyle Bomeisl & Farhan Ali – 4th team [break to semifinals] David Reiss & Chris Bergman – 5th team [break to quarterfinals] Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette – 6th team [break to quarterfinals] David Reiss – 3rd speaker
Kyle Bomeisl – 7th speaker
Ashley Novak – 8th speaker
Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette – 1st novice team [break to varsity quarterfinals] Ashley Novak – 1st novice speaker
Gordon Morrisette – 3rd novice speaker
Adam Bomeisl – 8th novice speaker

The three varsity breaks eclipse the prior record of two and a half varsity breaks to quarterfinals set at Middlebury earlier this year (Farhan made finals with a partner from Williams College). Rutgers has had exactly two varsity breaks to quarterfinals at one tournament four times this year (Penn, George Washington I, UMBC, and NYU).

Gordon’s performance has finally secured his spot in the top ten Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings with two regular-season tournaments remaining to help nail down that placing. Meanwhile, Ashley has all but locked up second place in the same rankings. Should she hold on to that ranking, it would be the highest performance for a female debater in NOTY in six years. Lina Bensman of Brandeis took first place in 2004-2005, the only time in the thirteen prior years of the ranking it was won by a woman.

Pictured below: Before-and-after action shots of the Rutgers team awaiting to hear results of the break announcements at UVA. The second shot was just after Kyle and Farhan had been announced as the third quarterfinal team from RUDU. Left to right: Kyle, Bhargavi, Farhan, Adam, Gordon, Chris, Storey, Ashley, and Dave. (Photo credit: Beth Mandel.)

In other news today, RUDU has been featured on the front page of Rutgers Today, the official online news source of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The in-depth article describes RUDU’s meteoric rise in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) rankings in the past two years, some of the methodology used for debate education, and quotes extensively from Storey, Dave, and Ashley.

Read the article here: Scrappy Rutgers Debate Team Rises to National Ranks.

Pictured below: The article’s official accompanying photograph of Storey, Dave, and Ashley. (Photo credit: Nick Romanenko.)

Photo Credit: Nick Romanenko, Rutgers Today (article by Lisa Intrabartola), courtesy of University Relations Photo Archive