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Five region spellers to compete in multi-region state bee

Cole Carignan and Kayla Heier were the two PWMS students who participated in the spelling bee. Carignan will compete at the state spelling contest on March 9.

By Susan Ward

Spelling Bee Coordinator

Lakes Country Service

Spelling "angst" correctly earned Danielle Nicholson, an 8th grader from Hawley, the title of Champion at the Lakes Country Service Cooperative Region IV Spelling Bee. Danielle competed against 30 other top district spellers in the region. The event was held at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls on February 23.

Cole Carignan and Kayla Heier were the two Prairie Wind Middle School kids who participated.

Kayla was tripped up in one of the early rounds by "croquette" (according to  a small cake or ball of minced meat, poultry, or fish, or of rice, potato, or other food, often coated with beaten egg and bread crumbs, and fried in deep fat).  Cole survived until round seven, when he misspelled "alliteration," reported Perham Spelling Bee coordinator Kurt Hoesly. However, as one of the final five spellers still in the competition, he will be advancing to the state spelling bee on March 9.

Austen Lynnes, 8th grader from Pelican Rapids, Carignan, 6th grader from Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham, Peter Hagen, 8th grader from Osakis, and Benjamin Goldstein, 6th grader from Cyrus MST will join Danielle at the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 9, at the Bigwood Event Center to compete for the opportunity to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Four of the top five spellers were determined by the end of round 7. Determining the fifth speller to advance was a battle between Mia Martinez, a 5th grader from Detroit Lakes and Austen Lynnes. It took 19 rounds before Lynnes won by correctly spelling misanthrophy after Martinez misspelled howitzer.

The students showcased their talents by spelling many challenging words during the spelling bee including geode, which is a nodule of stone having a cavity lined with crystals; babushka, a triangularly folded kerchief; and chimichanga, a tortilla wrapped around a filling.

Students struggled with the following words: dross, which is something that is base or commonplace; mahimahi, a spiny-finned fish in tropical seas; androcentric, centering on the male; and taj, a cap worn in Muslim countries.

"All of the students demonstrated such poise and maturity along with their excellent spelling skills. It was impressive to watch as they requested the definition of a word, or the origin of a word, and then proceeded to nail it," commented Susan Ward. "These students will represent Region IV very well. I am hopeful that one of our region students will once again earn a trip to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C."

Students were awarded trophies for their accomplishments.