Public Debates · Tournament Results

Rutgers Novices Shine at NYU

File photos of the three RUDU novices who excelled at NYU this past weekend during the winter storm that hit the Northeast.  Left to right:  Sean Leonard, Stine-Oksana Soomai, and George Alukal.
File photos of the three RUDU novices who excelled at NYU this past weekend during the winter storm that hit the Northeast. Left to right: Sean Leonard, Stine-Oksana Soomai, and George Alukal.

Braving the snowy near-blizzard conditions that hit New York and much of the Northeast United States, a handful of teams went to NYU to represent the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) this past weekend. Sean Leonard’s partner dropped at the last minute, but he wound up in the varsity break with a GW senior. Meanwhile, Stine-Oksana Soomai and George Alukal made their first novice break this year in George’s second-ever tournament. The pair dropped their novice outround after breaking as the top novice seed.

Here are the official results:
Sean Leonard & Dan Cobos [George Washington University] – 14th Team
Stine-Oksana Soomai & George Alukal – 5th Novice Team
Sean Leonard – 4th Novice Speaker
Stine-Oksana Soomai – 8th Novice Speaker

The varsity break is the third for Leonard this year and helps maintain RUDU’s varsity break streak at six consecutive tournaments. Meanwhile, this tournament represents a break-out for Stine-Oksana Soomai, who won her first novice team and speaker awards.

Just before departing for the tournament, Rutgers debaters were treated to word that the team had appeared in the Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper, for a second time in a week. The Friday article detailed the Wednesday night public debate that was attended by nearly 200 students and faculty. The article was the sixth Targum piece on RUDU this school year.

Rutgers remains fifth in the league overall at present, just behind Johns Hopkins and Harvard and decently ahead of the University of Chicago, who is sixth. The team has a very good chance of finishing ahead of the two schools it is most closely chasing at present, with more depth than either team and several debaters on the verge of qualifying for Nationals. This weekend features a trip just down the road to Princeton University.

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