The overall championship of the Surry County Schools Spelling Bee was decided with two men standing in the seventh round as Chris Smith of Gentry Middle School nodded out on the word hucksters. This allowed Pilot Mountain Elementary School’s Landon Smith to advance to a one-person, one-word round to decide the contest on the word wanderlust.
Third place went to Jackson Gates of Central Middle and Leah Hayes of Shoals Elementary finished fourth. The bee was held in various classrooms and the media center of Gentry Middle School on Tuesday evening. Landon Smith will advance to the regional competition at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem on March 17.
Earlier, county spelling bee spokesperson Dana Draughn welcomed school staff, principals, board of education members and family members to the event.
“Welcome to the 2013 Surry County Schools Championship Spelling Bee,” began Draughn. “This is a county-wide event, but I want everyone to know you are all winners. You had to win at your school to get here. Thanks to all of you for supporting this.”
Draughn recognized long-time spelling bee judge Tony Marion before Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves spoke to the crowd. Draughn told the group Marion had won the county bee in 1968, and topped that with regional and state championships before advancing to national competition.
“Raise your hands if your nervous,” said Reeves as he looked at the 15 participants in the school championship division. “It takes a lot of courage to sit in these seats. Those (parents and grandparents) sitting behind you are more nervous than you are. I wish you all the very best. I know all you parents and grandparents worked very hard to get these kids ready.”
The first round of the school champions division was rough on the field of participants with five falling to various words. Mountain Park Elementary’s Dawson Payne went out on the word windily, Erin Nichols of Copeland Elementary was tripped up on tithe, Pilot Mountain Middle’s Colby Guy missed ductile, Meadowview Middle’s Montanna Kuhlman missed pretzel and Westfield’s Kayla Brewer missed guru.
In round two, Rockford Elementary’s Mamie Smith went out on the word borax and Franklin Elementary’s Brianna Bobbit missed the word innate by one letter. Flat Rock Elementary’s Sydni Smith and White Plains Elementary’s Kassidy Puckett bowed out in round three on the words Newton and Sputnik.
Round four was another costly one with four participants taking seats in the audience. Cedar Ridge Elementary’s Brady Hatcher went out on the word beige, Leah Hayes of Shoals Elementary fell to the word luau and Dobson Elementary’s Nolan McMillen and Central Middle School’s Jackson Gates fell to the words karma and temporal. No one missed a word in rounds five and six with the word hucksters tripping up Chris Smith to set up Landon Smith’s victory.
This left Hatcher, Hayes, McMillen and Gates in the tiebreaker round for third and fourth places. No one went out in the first round of this portion of the bee, but three went down in the second round to leave Gates with a third-place finish. The words taking down the participates were daffodil, gordita and cummerbund.
Hatcher, Hayes and McMillen faced off in the first round for fourth place and each missed on the words sombrero, plateau and strudel to force the match into another round. None missed a word in this round and McMillen fell to the word clementine. Hatcher and Hayes each missed a word in the fourth round before Hatcher went out in the fifth on the word saxophone. Hayes clinched the fourth-place finish with the word curriculum.
In the fourth-grade competition, Shoals’ Anna Windsor was the winner. Nouri Edwards of Copeland was second, Cedar Ridge’s Garyn Bender was third and Kaley Dorsett of Flat Rock was fourth. In the fifth-grade division, Lili Craven of Shoals was the winner. Michelle Ramos of Flat Rock finished second. Cedar Ridge student Anna Cockerham was third, and Andrew Hicks of White Plains finished fourth.
Isaac Phipps of Gentry Middle was the winner of the sixth-grade division. Jayden Edwards of Meadowview Middle was second, Nolan Gilliam of Pilot Mountain Middle was third, and Mattie Grace Snow of Central Middle School was fourth. Dannis Cazarez of Central Middle took top honors in the seventh-grade competition with Jacob Hart of Pilot Mountain Middle taking second place. In third place was Kaylen Hawks of Meadowview Middle, and Hannah Button of Gentry Middle School was fourth.
Central Middle School’s Yarely Cabera was the winner in the eighth-grade competition. Eli Browder of Pilot Middle was second, Carter Phillips of Gentry Middle took third and Kelsey Horton of Meadowview Middle finished fourth.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.