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Spelling showdown in Mitchell

Corn Palace Spelling Bee judges Laurie Ruby, left, Carol Grode-Hanks, center, and Morgan Selland determine a word was spelled correctly at Saturday's event at Dakota Wesleyan University's Sherman Center. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)1 / 3
Competitors await the start of the Corn Palace Spelling Bee on Saturday at the Sherman Center at Dakota Wesleyan University. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)2 / 3
Sioux Falls O'Gorman Junior High's Sam Pardy, left, shakes hands with Mason Davis, of Huron, after winning the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan University's Sherman Center. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)3 / 3

In the quietest room full of people in Mitchell, one student ruled the day.

As Sam Pardy, of Sioux Falls O'Gorman Junior High School, stepped to the microphone to spell his final word, it was so quiet in Dakota Wesleyan University's Sherman Center that you could hear a pin drop. And with all eyes on him, Pardy was able to snare the victory in the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday. The winning word was "susceptible."

Pardy overcame a strong slate of competitors, including second place Mason Davis and third place Noah Beck, both of Huron.

Mitchell's regional spelling bee is one of five in which the top three contestants can advance to the March 17 University of South Dakota Scripps Spelling Bee in Vermillion. Those in attendance at the Vermillion competition will have opportunity to represent South Dakota in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. from May 28 to June 1.

Some of the words the competitors were asked to spell on Saturday included sarcasm, imperative, layette, necessary, pueblo, bungalow, macaroni and tycoon.

While the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee closed out the day, another equally important event preceded it.

The 2018 Mitchell Area Local Spelling Bee featured 79 spellers from 18 schools who tried their hand at the series of grade-level contests, which culminates with a final event featuring the top-two finishers in each grade. Hanson's Kinkade Olson won the Mitchell Area Local Spelling Bee, an event which featured 61 more spellers than the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee.

The winners are as follows:

• Third grade — First place: Kenna Odell, of L.B. Williams. Second place: Jett Jager, of Hanson. Third Place: a three-way tie between Madalynn Lorang, of Mount Vernon, Sadie Mueller, of Ethan, and Claire Gerlach, of Corsica-Stickney.

• Fourth grade — First place: Akela Davis, of Kimball. Second place: Peyton Denning, of Corsica-Stickney. Third place: Kambyl Wede, of L.B. Williams.

• Fifth grade — First place: Jasper Baus, of John Paul II. Second place: Taylor Braun, of Wessington Springs. Third place: Brooklynn Bailey, of L.B. Williams.

• Sixth grade — First place: Daniel Soukup, of Wagner. Second place: Racquel Driedger, of John Paul II. Third Place: Shaylin Knigge, of Ethan.

• Seventh grade — First place: Kinkade Olson, of Hanson. Second place: Jaxon Christensen, of White Lake. Third place: Mary Lou Siems, of Dakota Christian.

• Eighth grade — First place: Ana Twiggs, Mitchell Christian. Second place: Maggie Backes, of Dakota Christian. Third place: Jonathan Aulner, of Hanson.

• Finals — First place: Kinkade Olson, of Hanson. Second place: Daniel Soukup, of Wagner. Third place: Racquel Driedger, of John Paul II.

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