The Rutgers contingent at NorthAms in Toronto at the formal banquet, shortly after the break was announced. Left to right: Arbi Llaveshi, David Reiss, Bhargavi Sriram, Storey Clayton, Kyle Bomeisl, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Kurt Falk, and Stephen Yellin.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) has the sixth best debate team in North America.

This past weekend marked the 21st annual North American Debating Championships, held at the University of Toronto’s Hart House. Rutgers’ best team of all-time to date, David Reiss & Kyle Bomeisl, reunited for a run at history and wound up as the sixth best team at the tournament after a narrow loss in quarterfinals to the eventual North American Champions from Canada’s Carleton University. The pair won six straight rounds after dropping the first round of the competition to the eventual tournament runners-up from McGill University. Thus, the only two losses of the eight rounds they debated were to teams that appeared in the final round. Yale and Princeton were the only US institutions to finish higher than Rutgers at the prestigious Championship tournament.

Meanwhile, Quinn Maingi & Kurt Falk were the top finishing novice team from the US, finishing fourth overall in the tournament’s novice rankings. They dropped a novice semifinal round to the eventual Novice Champions from Queen’s University. This year marks the second straight where Rutgers has had the highest finishing American novice team at the North American Championships – last year, Ashley Novak & Gordon Morrisette were 3rd overall behind two Canadian teams.

The quarterfinal appearance qualified Kyle Bomeisl for the National Championships in April, giving Rutgers four qualified debaters, more than any other APDA school besides Yale and Columbia. Maingi, Novak, and Chris Bergman are also qualified.

Rutgers set a team record with five qualifications last season and has eleven regular-season weeks left to tie or eclipse that mark. Rutgers had never qualified anyone for Nationals prior to last year.