Eight champions earn honors at fair spelling bee
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 5, 2007 2:04 PM
One by one, the students nervously walked up to the microphone. Each received his or her word to spell. One by one they were eliminated.
Until all that were left were eight champions -- one for each grade level.
That was the way the annual spelling bee at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair went Tuesday night -- for two hours. Wayne Alley was the pronouncer for the evening.
First up were 12 fifth-graders. Shantelle Allwood got the very first word of the night -- "genetic." She spelled it right and advanced to the next round. After the first round was over, eight of the 12 remained.
At the end of the third round, there were only two girls and three boys left. After several more rounds of spelling, three winners remained. Shantelle won the contest and Marley Price placed second while Miguel Lopez placed third.
Next, 11 sixth-graders stepped into the spotlight. Only six remained at the end of the first round. By the end of the sixth round, there were three.
It took a total of 13 heated rounds to come up with winners. The word "galaxies" assured a first-place win for Halen Sykes. Oriana Aycock was second and Myra Waheed, third.
Words started getting a little more difficult for the eight seventh-graders in the spelling bee.
At the end of round two, there was a four-way tie for third place. A spell-off was held, and Alexandra Pate wound up with that honor.
Andrew Sieglie and Elizabeth Breedlove battled it out for first and second spots. After spelling "meddlesome" correctly. Elizabeth took top honors and Andrew came in second.
Then it was time for 10 eighth-graders to take their place on stage. During the second round, Abigail Johnston got the word "baffling." She asked the pronouncer "like to confuse?"
He replied, "here's your definition -- confusing."
She got it right, but was eliminated in a later round.
In the fourth round, Cole Newome placed third while Ethan Hill and Josiah Davis battled it out for first and second places. In the end, Ethan won with "pretentious", and Josiah came in second after misspelling "christened."
Six ninth-graders vied for the honor of top speller. The word "alleviation" gave Marieke Whitman that title. Second was Heath Radford and third was Meghan Johnston.
Only two 10th-graders competed in the spelling bee. Katarina Whitman came in first with the correct spelling of "hydrological" and Davis Taylor came in second after misseplling "poignant."
Then, it was time for three 11th-graders to show off their spelling skills.
After misspelling "grammarian," Lindsay Godwin took third place. Barbara Johnson got "auctioneer" correct to place second. Justin Brathwaite took first place with "epicurean."
Lastly were five 12th-graders. All five whizzed through the first round. But by the end of the third round, only three were left.
During the fifth round, audience members held their breath during a spell-off for second and third places between Austin Webber and Hannah Glover. Daniel Lozano had taken first place. Hannah finally beat Austin out second with the correct spelling of "sassafras."
After the competition ended and everyone could breathe easier, Alley praised all of them for their talent.
"The words were very tough," he said. "Some of the words I couldn't begin to spell. But that just goes to show you the tenacity -- which was one of the words -- of these students. They are determined to get through it. Whether they know the word or not, they at least get up there and try."
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