The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) opened the 2013-2014 season re-earning its 3rd ranking in the country with its 15th straight weekend in the varsity elimination rounds. It was the first-ever varsity “break” (advancing to elimination rounds) for RUDU at the Johns Hopkins University tournament as two Rutgers teams made the top eight cut-off and one more finished just out, at ninth.
As one of only two schools to place two teams in the break and the only school with three of the top ten teams, RUDU established what looks to be its best season ever in fine style at the season’s earliest tournament. The varsity team achievements were joined by two varsity speaker awards, three novice speaker awards, and Rutgers’ fourth straight year of breaking to novice elimination rounds at Hopkins.
Here is the long list of accomplishments RUDU notched in Baltimore:
Ashley Novak & Russell Potter – 3rd Team
Quinn Maingi & Alex Jubb – 6th Team
Gordon Morrisette & Arbi Llaveshi – 9th Team
Ashley Novak – 5th Speaker
Quinn Maingi – 8th Speaker
Nick Hansen & Becky Ratero – 4th Novice Team
Sweta Devarajan – 2nd Novice Speaker
Nick Hansen – 4th Novice Speaker
Vidhaath Sripathi – 7th Novice Speaker
With the finish, Novak and Potter, a new partnership of experienced Rutgers veterans, are now tied for third in the prestigious Team of the Year (TOTY) standings on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit. Teammates Maingi and Jubb, whom they defeated in a “civil war” round in quarterfinals, stand tied for fifth in TOTY. Rutgers as a team is ranked 3rd in the College of the Year (COTY) rankings, behind Brandeis (1st) and Yale (2nd), and tied with Harvard. Rutgers finished last year ranked 3rd, also behind Yale and Brandeis. Those two teams faced in the final round at Johns Hopkins on Saturday after Brandeis took a close 2-1 decision over Novak and Potter in the semifinal.
Meanwhile, RUDU performed quite ably in the novice division, with Hansen and Ratero losing a narrow 2-1 semifinal to a team from American University. Devarajan won the highest novice speaker award for a Rutgers debater at the Hopkins tournament since Chris Andrews and Ashley Novak finished 2nd and 3rd there in 2010. That was the only other year that Rutgers had three novice speakers in the top ten in those standings. This all bodes quite well for the novice class looking to maintain Rutgers’ recent history of success in the Novice of the Year (NOTY) standings. Those rankings are not tracked until October.
Rutgers will look to maintain or improve upon its third ranking in APDA this coming weekend at the College of William and Mary’s annual fall tournament. RUDU has made the varsity elimination rounds at five of the last six tournaments at William & Mary.