The iconic view overlooking the Hudson River from West Point displays proud Rutgers debaters after an exciting run at the tournament.  Left to right: Grisam Shah, Storey Clayton, Ali Ismail, Josh Pomerantz, George Alukal, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Rachel Moon, Nick Hansen, Deepta Janardhan, and Russell Potter. (Not pictured:  Arbi Llaveshi)
The iconic view overlooking the Hudson River from West Point displays proud Rutgers debaters after an exciting run at the tournament. Left to right: Grisam Shah, Storey Clayton, Ali Ismail, Josh Pomerantz, George Alukal, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Rachel Moon, Nick Hansen, Deepta Janardhan, and Russell Potter. (Not pictured: Arbi Llaveshi)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made the varsity quarterfinals and novice semifinals at West Point, making elimination rounds for the fifth straight week and bringing two debaters even closer to qualification for Nationals. Meanwhile, many more teams were just out of the running after losing their decisive fifth round at the competition, with three teams finishing 10th, 11th, and 12th and another just missing in a varsity “bubble” round.

Here are the official accomplishments logged at the United States Military Academy tournament:
Alex Jubb & Henry Phipps – 8th Team
Arbi Llaveshi & George Alukal – 10th Team
Alex Jubb – 7th Speaker
Henry Phipps – 8th Speaker
Josh Pomerantz & Zach Sinkiewicz – 6th Novice Team (broke to novice semifinals)
Nick Hansen – 2nd Novice Speaker
Josh Pomerantz – 8th Novice Speaker

Jubb and Phipps lost a very narrow 2-1 decision to a Yale/Harvard hybrid team in quarterfinals, the closest that eventual championship team came to losing a round all tournament. Both inched closer to Nationals qualification and have five weeks left to achieve the goal, as do teammates Llaveshi, Hansen (who finished 11th at the tournament), Deepta Janardhan (who finished 12th), and Adam Bomeisl (who took the weekend off). While others from the team could also qualify, those six are halfway toward the goal or closer.

Meanwhile, Pomerantz and Sinkiewicz lost a narrow 2-1 decision to a Yale team in their novice semifinal. The novice elimination rounds were aiming for 3rd place as two novice teams made the varsity out-rounds. It was the second novice break this year for Pomerantz and the fourth for Sinkiewicz.

Hansen regained 12th Novice of the Year (NOTY) position with his second-place finish, putting him just six points back of the top ten. Rutgers overall slipped to 6th College of the Year (COTY) with Brown jumping to 4th off of a good weekend at the University of Connecticut tournament.

This weekend, RUDU will travel to William & Mary for the first of two tournaments over Rutgers’ spring break in the effort to return to the top five in the rankings and qualify more people for APDA’s National Championships to be held near the end of April in Philadelphia.