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Area students compete at state bee
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SALINA – Carey Chesire, an eighth grader from Butler County, won the Sunflower State Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Kansas Press Association, on March 23 at Salina.

His winning word was “ahuehuete,” the name of a Mexican cypress tree of great circumference. The name comes from words in the Aztec language Nahuatl that mean “upright drum in water,” or “old man in water,” referring to the tree’s longevity and the great amounts of water it requires to survive.

The competition involving 84 spellers from counties all across Kansas lasted 16 rounds.

Spellers competed at Kansas Wesleyan University. Dr. Melissa Rohrer served as pronouncer for the competition. Spellers studied “Words of the Champions,” the 4,000 word list provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee, to prepare for the competition.

Second place went to • Maci Perrins from Douglas County. No grade information was provided. Third place went to • Avery Carmito, a seventh grader from Leavenworth County.

County champions from the Golden Belt also competed.

• Kannon Beam, a seventh-grader from Rush County, went out the in the seventh round, tied for fifth-place tier.

• Kade Amspacker, an eighth-grader from Pawnee County, and • Kinly Place, and eighth grader from Ellsworth County, lasted four rounds and tied for the sixth level.

• Jasper Pawlowski, an eighth grader from Barton County; was in for three rounds and tied for the seventh level. He is an eighth grader at Hoisington Middle School.

• Kaylie Davison, an eighth-grader from Russell County, and • Nathaniel Giorgetti from Rice County, were in for two rounds and tied for the eighth level.

• Kaleb Granger, an eighth-grader from Stafford County, was out on the first round with several other spellers and tied for the ninth level.

To qualify for the State Bee, each of these students won their county bee (or was the runner-up if the winner could not attend).

Schools hosted their own bees or contests to send two representatives to the county bees.