By Jim Misunas
LARNED — The spellers in the 2013 Pawnee County Spelling Bee battled plenty of “anxiety,” and faced a “predicament,” with difficult and challenging words.
The “arbitrary,” nature of spelling contests favored one speller for two rounds with “vantage,” and “taboo,” two of the easier words. There were just seven spellers left after two rounds.
The showdown between eight-grade champion Emily Herrman of Larned Middle School and sixth-grade runner-up Kristin Anderson was worth the wait.Herrman emerged as the champion by spelling “quiver,” and “paraphrasable,” correctly after she and Anderson went back-and-forth for several rounds. Herrman earlier proved her ability by correctly spelling “compendium.”
Herrman qualifies for the Sunflower Spelling Bee March 2 at Fort Hays State University’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
She said several words were challenging and she felt fortunate to win.
“There were some words that surprised me,” Herrman said. “There were a few bigger words than I had studied. I felt better when there were just two of us left. Kristin was a good speller. There was a time or two when I thought she might win.”
Anderson had two chances to spell one word correctly for the championship, but she slipped up on “vicarious,” and “acquisitive.” Anderson’s final miss was “windily.”
She showed her skill by spelling “inimitable,” correctly, setting her up to win with “vicarious.”
Making the third-round with final words missed were Trevor Coulson, “officiant;” Logan Coulson, “nominative;” Hayden Theis, “compunction;” Elena Stoll, “optometry;” and Micca Knauf, “geologist.”
Paul Deveaux, seventh-grade language arts teacher at Larned Middle School, directed the spelling bee.
Top spellers from Larned USD 495 and Pawnee Heights USD 501 will compete.
Larned Middle School qualifiers were fifth-graders Breannan Perez, Kaylee Mead, Tristen Burger and Logan Coulson.
LMS sixth-grade contestants were Kristin Anderson, Jayden Theis, Landon Reinhardt and Devin Burger.
LMS seventh-grade spellers were Brooke Coulson, Trevor Coulson and Abby Kelty.
LMS eighth-grade contestants were Erin Smith, Dalton McClendon, Emily Herrman and Dalton Bright.
Pawnee Heights Middle School spellers were fifth-graders Danann Hardy and Harrison VanMeter; sixth-graders Katie Amspacker and Trace Baker; seventh-graders Mia Stinemetz and Nicole Roberts; and eighth-graders Elena Stoll and Micca Knauf.