This may have been one of those odd years when the championship word at the Marion County Spelling Bee was one of the easier words that surfaced during the entire competition.
Abby Wesner, representing Marion Middle School, spelled “sphinx” with no hesitation to claim the title of Marion County spelling bee champion for 2018.
The Feb. 7 event was hosted by USD 398 Peabody-Burns .
Getting beyond the first round was one of the biggest challenges of the morning. Traditionally, the spelling words grow increasing challenging with each succeeding round.
This year, the contestants encountered a “b-l-i-t-z-k-r-i-e-g” of challenging words almost from the start, ranging from “alacrity” (cheerful readiness) to “calamine” (a powder in lotions and skin treatments) and “jauntily” (light or carefree nature).
By the time the first round was completed, only nine students remained in the competition.
After two rounds, the contestants had dwindled to three: Annalise Miller, representing Goessel Middle School; Logan Webster, representing Peabody-Burns Middle School; and, of course, Abby Wesner.
For the next four rounds, the threesome spelled their assigned words perfectly. But in Round 7, Logan slipped on word No. 42: “hallucinations.”
Annalise and Abby continued for two more rounds. Then, in Round 9, Annalise misspelled “appendectomy.” Abby spelled the same word correctly, then won the title by spelling “sphinx.”
Abby took her victory in stride. Asked if the spelling bee was harder than she thought it would be, Abby said “no” without hesitation.
She said she spent a lot of time preparing for the event: “I studied with my parents.”
And finally, asked if she enjoys spelling, Abby replied “yes” with a championship smile.
Following are the words that surfaced
at this year’s Marion County Spelling Bee