Juniors Mona Mahadevan and Malachi Robinson finished in second place overall at Montgomery Bell Academy's Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum—one of the nation's most prestigious debate tournaments—in Nashville last weekend. Woodward debate teams have attended the Southern Bell Forum since its inception in 1983 and have only reached the final round twice in Academy history, finishing second in 1998 and 2006.
On the way to the finals, Mona and Malachi debated teams from Chattahoochee (GA), Greenhill School (TX), Little Rock Central (AR), Palos Verdes Peninsula (CA), Iowa City West (IA), Blue Valley Southwest (KS), Westminster (GA), and Cabot (AR). They were defeated in the finals by the top-seeded team from MBA.
This is the third consecutive final round appearance for Mona and Malachi. They finished in second place at Westminster in November and won the Carrollton Sacred Heart tournament in December. Seniors Alanna Pearson and Arjun Srinivasan also reached the elimination rounds at the Southern Bell Forum. And all four Woodward debaters earned top 20 individual speaker awards, including three of the top six with Arjun in fourth, Malachi in fifth, and Mona in sixth. Arjun's fourth place award is the highest earned by a Woodward debater at the Southern Bell Forum.