After winning the American Debate Association tournament earlier in March, Georgia Debate Union members Nathan Rice and Johnnie Stupek recently finished second at the 2019 National Debate Tournament (NDT), held at the University of Minnesota.
Rice and Stupek are the second team in the history of the Georgia Debate Union to make it to the final round of the National Debate Tournament and the first since 1997. In their run to the finals, they defeated teams from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Wake Forest University. They lost a close, split decision to the University of Kentucky in a debate over whether presidential power to use nuclear weapons should be restricted.
In addition to Rice and Stupek's run to the finals, other members of the Georgia Debate Union enjoyed tremendous success at this year's NDT. Advait Ramanan and Swapnil Agrawal, winners of the ADA national championship tournament, finished in 5th place at the NDT. They defeated teams from Dartmouth College, UC-Berkeley, Georgetown, and Michigan State along the way.
UGA was also the only institution to have three teams debating in the elimination rounds of the NDT; junior Alyssa Hoover and sophomore Tripp Haskins lost on a split decision in their elimination round, finishing in 17th place. The 2019 NDT is the first time the Georgia Debate Union has advanced 3 teams to the elimination rounds.
Ramanan, Agrawal, Rice, and Stupek were also all recognized as top 20 speakers at the NDT, making UGA the only institution honored with such distinction.
A large traveling trophy will be shipped to Athens next week. Congratulations to the four seniors on these outstanding achievements and experiences that will last a lifetime, which have set the bar even higher for all the Georgia Debate Union teams to come.
Image: Johnnie Stupek, left, and Nathan Rice.