The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) broke to semifinals at the William & Mary tournament this past weekend, marking the second consecutive semifinal appearance for the team of Chris Bergman & Sean Leonard. The senior/freshman duo made the elimination rounds with a 4-1 record and defeated Smith College in the quarterfinals before falling to a hybrid team from Harvard and Hopkins in the semis.
Here are the full results for Rutgers’ trip to the second W&M tournament of the season:
Chris Bergman & Sean Leonard – 3rd Team
Sean Leonard – 2nd Novice Speaker
Katerina Dimitrusheva – 10th Novice Speaker
The novice speaker award for Dimitrusheva came in her first-ever tournament for RUDU, wherein she and her second-year partner won 3 of 5 rounds, all over some excellent competition. Her team (consisting of Dimitrusheva and Leland Perice) and the semifinalists of Bergman & Leonard were the only teams to defeat the eventual tournament champions.
Despite the high speaker award, Leonard slipped back to 3rd overall in the Novice of the Year (NOTY) standings for first-year debaters. He is attempting to follow in the footsteps of former RUDU novices Ashley Novak (2nd in 2010-2011) and Quinn Maingi (3rd in 2011-2012) with a top three finish in these rankings. This weekend’s contest at Boston University is likely to be the largest of the remaining regular season and could vault Leonard to within range of first were he to finish highly there.
RUDU remains secure in its position as 3rd overall team in the country, riding a streak of ten consecutive weekends of competition where they have earned a spot in the varsity elimination rounds. Rutgers stands at 249 points in the College of the Year (COTY) standings, with Johns Hopkins (198 points) trailing and Harvard and the University of Chicago (183.5 points each) tied for fifth.