Hillsboro Middle School seventh-grader Claire Heyen spelled her way to becoming the 2010 Marion County Spelling Bee champion Wednesday, Feb. 10, in the Marion High School auditorium.
P-s-y-c-h-o-a-n-a-l-y-s-i-s was the word that clinched first-place honors in the ninth round.
In rounds one through eight, Heyen correctly spelled brighten, sculpture, fertilize, guidance, scruple, hysterical, larynx and infatuation.
Tylor Baker of Peabody-Burns Junior High School was this year?s runnerup, spelling ?conundrum? correctly in the 12th round.
He also needed to spell ?omniscient? and ?analgesia? in rounds 10 and 11, respectively.
Third place went to Bradli Nowak, also an HMS seventh-grader.
In addition to the top three Marion County spellers, 17 other participants competed?with alternates?from 10 schools.
Jacob Stoneberger, Abigail Svoboda and Bolden Crane (alternate) represented Centre Elementary School.
Amy Makovec, Brenna Shields and Nick Salamone (alternate) took part from Centre Junior High School.
Tori Smith, Paige May and Devin Regnier (alternate) qualified from Marion Elementary School.
?Devin (Regnier) did participate in place of Tori Smith,? said Rod Garman, MES principal.
Zach Robson, Caitlyn Maloney and Alicia Maloney (alternate) were designated from Marion Middle School.
From Goessel Elementary School were Jennifer Meysing, Julia Nightengale and Leah Booton (alternate).
Representing Goessel Junior High School were Erin Brubaker, Lawton Makovec and Alyssa Booton (alternate).
Participating from Hillsboro Elementary School were Vance Klassen, Lanna Wagner and Samantha Moss (alternate).
In addition to participants Heyen and Nowak, Reece Berens was the alternate for Hillsboro Middle School.
Peabody-Burns Elementary representatives were Brandon Entz, Jayton Scott and Margaret Beal (alternate).
Kiefer Larson and Christa Elliott (alternate) represented Peabody-Burns Junior High, as well as did runnerup Baker.
?It was a spectacular spelling bee,? said Garman, who officiated the competition.