Dante student wins regional spelling titleTripp student takes runner-up position, also qualifies for state competition in Vermillion.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
“Grabble” was the word that tripped up the competition Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan University’s Sherman Center and won Carolyn Blaha first place in the Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee.
“Grabble” means to feel about, or to grope for something with the hands.
Blaha, a seventh-grader from from rural Dante and attends Wagner Community School, edged out runner-up Whitney Fuerst, of Tripp, an eighth-grader at Tripp-Delmont School.
Both girls qualified to participate in the state spelling bee, which will be held March 23 in Vermillion. The winner of that event will represent South Dakota in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., later this spring.
Blaha nailed down Saturday’s top slot by spelling the word “fathom,” correctly.
In addition to her title, Blaha earned a $50 prize and a plaque for her efforts. It also garnered hugs from her dad, Joe Blaha, aunt, Laurie Stratman, and grandmother, Coletta Stratman, both of Springfield.
The two top spellers outlasted a field of 20 students through a fast-moving six rounds of competition.
Words that tripped up competitors in earlier rounds included: stratification, sufficiently, perfectionism, sentient, apportion, taciturn and geologist.
The regional event was preceded by the Mitchell Area Local Spelling Bee, which featured spellers in grades three through eight.
Both regional and local spelling bees were sponsored by the American Association of University Women and The Daily Republic, and drew a total of 97 participants, organizer Linda Farney said.
The winners of the Mitchell Area Local Spelling Bee, followed by their school’s name, were:
Third grade: First place, Taylor Schroeder, Hanson School; second place, Erynn Gerlach, Corsica; third place, Tobias Zephier, Wagner.
Fourth grade: First, Michelle Soukup, Wagner; second, Madison Meyerink, Gertie Belle Rogers, Mitchell; third, Corbin Fuoss, Armour.
Fifth grade: Peyton Nash, John Paul II, Mitchell; second, Amber Bruns, L.B. Williams, Mitchell; third, Mary Kelly, home-schooled.
Sixth grade: First, Sean Sloan, Parkston; second, Bailey Bosworth, Kimball; third, Noah Hainy, Wessington Springs.
Seventh grade: First, Madison Price, Kimball; second, Brooklyn Brouwer, Dakota Christian, New Holland; Benjamin Tegethoff.
Eighth grade: First, Nicole Reuland, White Lake; second, Chelsey Lutter, Kimball; third, Abbie Reynen, Mitchell Christian.