|Kunal Sah of Green River accepts his trophy for winning the Southeastern Regional spelling bee.|
Kunah Sah wins the district spelling bee for the second year in a row and will make a repeat visit to Washington DC for the National Spelling Bee. The national bee will be held on May 28-June 1. This is the second year for a student from southeastern Utah to be afforded the opportunity to compete in the National Spelling Bee.
The spelling bee is sponsored by the Emery County Progress and the Sun Advocate newspapers along with the Southeast Educational Service Center. The school district of the winning speller has agreed to pay all the expenses for the winner and one chaperone to attend Bee Week in Washington.
The district spelling bee is the competition for winners at the district level in San Juan, Carbon, Emery and Grand counties. Fourteen students participated in the bee held at Green River High School on March 1. Julie Taylor was the moderator for the event and Patty Lyman was the judge. Hannah Lockwood a college student from Canada also helped with the mechanics of the spelling event.
Taylor said, "We wish to thank all of the superintendents of the school districts for their support of this event and to our newspaper sponsors."
The bee began with Pentathlon events which included: build a word, geo-spell, spelling rules words, challenge event and then the main event spell down. The only event that counted towards the trip to Washington was the spell down event. Prizes were given for the other events. The Pentathlon winners were those with the highest totals in the four contests.
The spelling words came from the books the students have been studying. Taylor said, "The spell down will come from the book and most of these words you probably have memorized, but the tie breaker words were picked by the national organization and may be words you haven't seen before. These words will determine if you can spell."
The build a word competition began and the students were asked to build as many words as they could out of the letters r, u, t, u, s, p, and n. The students went furiously to work constructing words out of the letters. The longer the word they could construct then the more points that word is worth.
Next came the geo-spell with states and countries being the words the students were asked to spell. Connecticut, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka just to name a few.
The students turned in their papers and then everyone came up front for the spelling rules words. The students spelled foreign, receipt, musician, condition, suspicion, occasion, neighbor, physician, electrician, delicious, partial, mischief and so on. The students spelled up a storm in this event.
The students went on to event four where they spelled in the challenge event. Words included: marzipan, gingham, fahrenheit, opossum, karaoke, dichotomy, hypocrisy, capricious, sassafras and others.
The spellers took a break and then returned ready for the main event. Taylor explained the Pentathlon events are used as ice breakers to get the students to relax and not be nervous spelling in front of an audience.
With the Pentathlon events behind them the group was ready for the main spell down. The words for this event are provided by Scripps, and no pre-study is allowed.
The spellers tried their luck with words: cosmos, burrito, safari, liverwurst, xylophone, idiom, paddock, retrospective, dissect, inferno, Siberian, hazard, wanderlust, diorama, jovial, ramen, typhoon, gardenia, acme, biopsy and many others.
When the spellers had made their way through all the words provided without a winner, the competition moved onto the tie breaker words. The words parallel and souvenir, knocked out the spellers Eli Beck and Ryan Hall. Kunal Sah then had to spell his word which was conceited and then his anticipated championship word which was accidentally. He spelled these words correctly which made him the champion of the spell down.
Eli and Ryan then began their own tiebreaker for second and third place. Eli a fifth grade student from Blanding Elementary was second place and Ryan Hall an eighth grade student from Mont Harmon was third place.
In the build a word event, Breeanna Cossins was third and Kunal Sah was third, Eli Beck was second and Brittany Fauver, San Rafael Junior High was first.
In the geo-spell, Olivia Burton from Canyon View Junior High was third place with Brittany Fauver-second place and Kunal Sah-first place.
In the spelling rules event, Breeanna Cossins was third, Braydon Bennett was second and Kunal Sah was first place. In the challenge event, Ryan Hall was third place and Eli Beck was second and Kunal Sah was first place.
The overall winners for the Pentathlon Event were third-Brittany Fauver, second-Eli Beck and first-Kunal Sah.