Whereas last year’s county bee was completed in five rounds, this one went 22.
Two students took their seats in Round 2, and a third in the next round. The next two rounds went error-free before two spellers missed in Round 6.
After two more went down in Round 8, four took their seats in Round 9 as the difficulty of words increased. After the 10th round, seven students remained.
Girls clearly held the upper hand in this year’s competition. When Hillsboro fourth-grader Charlie Major misspelled “curiosity” in the 12th round, an all-girls field of six remained.
Katelyn Olson, from Goessel Elementary, took her seat on the very next word, “snarky,” leaving five to battle from Round 13 to the end.
In addition to the top three finishers, the final five included Regina Noonan of Marion Elementary and Edel Miller of Goessel Junior High.
The championship word came in the 22nd round after runner-up Lanna Wagner, an eighth-grader from Goessel who finished third a year ago, stumbled on “provincial” in Round 21. The round before that, Lindsey Sigel of Marion Middle School succumbed to “succumb” to place third.
As the top two finishers, Mesa and Lanna have qualified to represent Marion County at the state level, with Lindsey serving as the alternate.
The Hays Daily News 2013 Sunflower Spelling Bee, which includes 75 counties—all of Kansas with the exception of 30 in the eastern part of the state—will be March 2 at Fort Hays State University.
The next step after that one is the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26 to June 1 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the students already named, the rest of the field competing at Peabody was comprised of Seth Krch and Austin Ebaben (CES), Elizabeth Alderfer (GES), Katie Rempel (HES), Macy Sigel (MES) Madelaine Beal and Lexi Schreiber (PBES), Cole Srajer and Zachary Barney (CJHS), Jacob Schlehuber (HMS), Jimi Dornbush (MMS) and Samantha Frye and Anna Lubbers (PBMS).