Archived Story

Moorhead middle schooler wins bee

Published 11:22am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One by one, 26 spellers took their turns Tuesday afternoon walking to a podium inside a Lakes Country Service Cooperative conference room.

Some spelled their words almost instantly and with supreme confidence. Others paused or asked for definitions or languages of origin.

Ultimately, 25 of these students walked back to their seats after misspelling a word.

On this day, only Jesemy Travers left without a blemish.

The 26 students, ranging from fifth through eighth-graders, convened at LCSC for the Region IV Spelling Bee. The contestants had all advanced from previous tournaments.

Among the spellers were three students from Fergus Falls schools. Clayton Lindberg and Jacob Upthegrove represented Fergus Falls Middle School, while Isabelle Kremeier represented Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.

Just before the event began, LCSC Executive Director Jeremy Kovash expressed his admiration for all the students in the spelling bee.

“It’s sometimes a little bit tough and a little bit challenging,” Kovash said. “It’s great to see you all here with courage and determination and a lot of brainpower.”

The competitors spent the better part of two hours spelling a myriad of words, including “quiche,” “yacht” and “automaton.”

In the end, it came down to Travers and Anthony Carlson, also from Moorhead. The two went back and forth for several minutes before Carlson misspelled “cruller” and Travers correctly spelled “androcentric” to win the competition.

Travers said she studied a lot to prepare for the bee and had help from her mom, dad and sister.

The top five finishers from Tuesday’s competition advanced to the Multi-Regional State Spelling Bee Feb. 25 in Fergus Falls. The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins May 25 in Washington D.C.

Upthegrove was eliminated in the first round after misspelling “diorama.” Lindberg advanced to the second round before misspelling “sonata.”

“I was pretty nervous, but I felt confident at the same time,” Upthegrove said. “The double ‘r’ really got to me.”

Kremeier made it the farthest of the three Fergus Falls representatives, advancing to the third round before misspelling “filament.” She was also nervous before the competition began, but settled down early on and was happy with her performance.

“I’m really excited for next year,” she said. “This was my first year, so I really want to see how it goes next year.”

Each of the 26 participants received a trophy for their efforts, and event coordinator Susan Ward made sure to stress how successful each student was no matter how they performed in the bee.

She also asked parents to help their children keep the competition in perspective and praised each student.

“Any time you’ve spent spelling and practicing is time well-spent,” Ward said.

Any individuals with questions about this year’s competition or future competitions can contact Ward at LCSC.

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