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More than 100 take part in regional spelling bee

David-Abraham Stagg, a third-grader at Highmore-Harrold School, waits his turn to compete in the second round of the 2014 Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee hosted at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

Kevin Baltzer, of Huron, won the 2014 Corn Palace Regional Spelling Bee Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan University by spelling the word guineas.

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Baltzer, an eighth-grader at Huron Middle School, defeated Carolyn Blaha, an eight-grader at Wagner Middle School. Baltzer, Blaha and third-place finisher Veronica Knippling, a sixth-grader at Highmore-Harrold School, can represent the region at the South Dakota Scripps Spelling Bee, March 22 in Vermillion.

Baltzer said he “thought it was really easy,” speaking of the contest, and plans on competing at the state bee.

According to organizer Linda Farney, of Mitchell, 29 students competed in the regional bee and 80 in the Mitchell Area Local Spelling Bee.

The American Association of University Women of Mitchell sponsored the spelling bees.

Winners of the individual grade contests at the spelling bee were:

Third Grade: Keatyn Wede, Mitchell, L.B. Williams, first; Elizabeth Tyler, Wagner, second; Alexis Korzan, Mitchell, John Paul II, third.

Fourth Grade: Riley McGinnis, Mitchell, L.B. Williams, first; Taylor Schroeder, Hanson, second; Aiden R. Beckstrom, Mitchell, John Paul II, third.

Fifth Grade: Olivia Husmann, Mitchell, John Paul II, first; Angela Paulson, Wessington Springs, second; Cecelia Neugebauer, Parkston, third.

Sixth Grade: Kathryn Nightingale, White Lake, first; Mary Kelly, Kelly Home School, second; Isabel Pheifer, Dakota Christian, third.

Seventh Grade: Heidi Tirrel, Mitchell Christian, first; Rainan Cabanag, White Lake, second; Shaina Determan, Hanson, third.

Eighth Grade: Trey Whitmore, Tripp-Delmont, first; Ashley Henglefelt, Hanson, second; Freedom Zapata, St. Joseph School, third.

Local overall winners: Heidi Tirrel, first; Olivia Husman, second; Trey Whitmore, third.