Han wins third straight spelling bee

Rose Han qualified for the Lakes Area Regional Spelling Bee for the fourth straight time, after winning the Staples-Motley District Spelling Bee for the third time.

Han correctly spelled “rheumatic” in the 17th round to outlast William Thew, who finished second.

“It just came to me, I knew it was a trick word with the “rh”, said Han. Other words she spelled correctly included “vulpine,”  “mahogany,” “legitimately,” “potentialities,” “pugnacious” and “pertinacity”.

Han placed second at the district bee as a fifth grader, and now has won the event as a sixth, seventh and eighth grader.

In her first trip to the regional competition, Han finished second, then eighth and second the following two years. In preparation for this year’s region, Han plans to study word packets of language origins. “This year I studied way less, I’m glad they didn’t get into the hard ones,” said Han.

At this year’s district bee, all the students passed the first two rounds, correctly spelling words such as “taxi,” “banana,” “untidy” and “supplies.”

In the next two rounds contestants tripped up on “monkeys,” “invisible,” “beckon”and even “contestants.” 

Rounds five and six were the toughest, as eight spellers were eliminated with words like  “gnarled,” “coronet,” “precursor” and “marionette”.

After seven rounds, it was down to the final four: Han, Raven Hart, Beck Erholtz and Thew.

Hart correctly spelled “avian,” “Honolulu” and “avalanche” before slipping up on “conflagration” in round 11. Erholtz spelled “engineering,” “neutron” and “perpetrator” before missing “habanero” in the 11th round.

At the end of the bee, Erholtz qualified for third place by spelling “juncture” and “scuffle” so he’ll be the alternate for the regional bee.

Thew advanced to the 13th round spelling “feckless,” “catastrophic,” “insulin,” “allegiance” and “concussion.” He missed on “gesticulations” in the 13th round, giving Han the opportunity to win, but she missed spelling “interminableness.”

“I just lost track of where I was,” said Han.

Thew came back and spelled “eucalyptus” but missed on the word “nautilus” on the 16th round.

Thew finished second at last year’s district bee and gained valuable experence at the regional bee. “It’s fun, there are a lot of kids there,” he said.

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