The RUDU contingent at Maryland gathers on the steps of the Millard E. Tydings hall to celebrate the team’s most successful tournament of the year so far. Award winners were given “crab-smasher” mallets instead of the traditional gavels to symbolize Maryland’s Chesapeake heritage. Left to right: Quinn Maingi, Russell Potter, Storey Clayton, Arbi Llaveshi, Ed Bibiano, Henry Phipps, Adam Bomeisl, Bhargavi Sriram, Nisha Kumar, Rachel Moon, Sarthi Tuli, Amanda Gaetano, Maxwell Williams, Chris Bergman, Stephen Yellin, Sean Leonard, Alex Jubb, Kira Kaur, Ashley Novak, Kai Rau, Shireen Hamza, Raynee Morris, Kurt Falk, and Gordon Morrisette.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) jumped to sixth in the overall national rankings on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit after its best tournament of the year so far. Four RUDU teams finished in the top ten at Maryland, with the highest team, Chris Bergman & Quinn Maingi, finishing 2nd after dropping the final round to Yale. Two other teams made quarterfinals and a fourth team finished just outside the break at 9th.

Here’s the long list of top ten performances notched at Maryland this past weekend:
Chris Bergman & Quinn Maingi – 2nd Team
Adam Bomeisl & Russell Potter – 6th Team
Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette – 7th Team
Kurt Falk & Alex Jubb – 9th Team
Ashley Novak – 2nd Speaker
Chris Bergman – 8th Speaker
Gordon Morrisette – 10th Speaker
Sean Leonard – 9th Novice Speaker

The speaker award for Novak bumps her from 3rd to 2nd overall in the national rankings for individual speakers. She trails a Harvard senior who is the defending national champion by just 6 points in these rankings for the prestigious Speaker of the Year (SOTY) award, given annually to the league’s top-ranked debater.

The tournament featured the third ever out-round Rutgers “civil war” with a quarterfinal match-up between Bergman/Maingi and Bomeisl/Potter. The latter team only lost to teams from other schools, making the elimination rounds as the second seed with a 5-0 record in preliminary rounds. The quarterfinal Rutgers-Rutgers match was a 2-1 decision for the eventual finalists.

Falk/Jubb missed the break by 1.25 speaker points. Had they made the break, they would have displaced the 8th seed but eventual champion team from Yale. Several other Rutgers teams finished the tournament with winning 3-2 records, including the one featuring novice Sean Leonard, who has now been in the top ten novice speakers at all six tournaments he’s attended.

Nearly a quarter of the way into the season, RUDU is ranked sixth overall, trailing Yale, Johns Hopkins, Brandeis, Harvard, and Swarthmore. This weekend’s performance vaulted Rutgers over Princeton, American, George Washington, NYU, and Brown.

Bergman/Maingi are ranked 10th overall in the annual Team of the Year (TOTY) rankings, which tracks partnership standings. Despite the high finish this weekend, Novak/Morrisette slipped from 10th to 12th in TOTY.

RUDU debater Quinn Maingi expresses confusion at a point presented by his semifinal opponents en route to a 3-2 win that put he and Chris Bergman in the Maryland final round.