The Rutgers contingent at AU Pro-Ams gathers after a fourth consecutive appearance in semifinals for the weekly team picture. Left to right: Henry Phipps, Chris Baia, Riti Khamgonkar, Deepta Janardhan, Sahil Bambulkar, Quinn Maingi, Chris Bergman, Oksana Soomai, Sean Leonard, Adam Bomeisl, Kai Rau, Alex Jubb, Henry Akerman, Ashley Novak, Rachel Moon, Raynee Morris, Storey Clayton, Meryem Uzumcu, Kurt Falk, Shreyas Jaganmohan, and Basil Alomary.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made varsity semifinals at its fourth straight APDA-style tournament this weekend at American University “Pro-Ams”. The team overcame Hurricane Sandy’s havoc in New Jersey before overcoming most of the competition at AU to hop Swarthmore College and Johns Hopkins University for APDA’s fourth ranking in the country so far this season.

Meanwhile, star debater Ashley Novak took 2nd speaker and remained the 3rd-ranked individual speaker in the country, still trailing only debaters from Harvard. Sahil Bambulkar took top novice speaker honors and will now find himself in the top ten among novice speakers of the year so far.

Here are the official results notched for RUDU at AU:
Ashley Novak & Sean Leonard – 4th Team
Ashley Novak – 2nd Speaker
Sahil Bambulkar – 1st Novice Speaker

The tournament was the annual “Pro-Am” wherein all teams are composed of at least one novice debater and a varsity debater. The finish for Novak & Leonard qualified Novak for the National Championships, to be held next April in Maryland. Novak, a junior, has qualified for Nationals all three years she’s debated at Rutgers.

Ten additional RUDU debaters, now including Leonard, have points toward qualification for Nationals. Chris Bergman & Quinn Maingi are just a point away, meaning any quarterfinal appearance at a tournament is almost sure to qualify them.

Rutgers is now ranked fourth in the country, hopping from sixth over Swarthmore, who also made elimination rounds this weekend, and Johns Hopkins. RUDU only trails Yale, Brandeis, and Harvard in the College of the Year (COTY) standings.

Classes at Rutgers were cancelled all last week and the hurricane nearly jeopardized RUDU’s ability to attend the AU tournament. There should be no such obstacles to the upcoming trip this weekend back to DC, for the George Washington University all-opp-choice tournament.