The seventh grade spelling bee whittles down to its final few contestants Wednesday afternoon at Ellis Middle School. -- Kevin Coss/kevin.coss@austindailyherald.com

Archived Story

Spelling contenders meet at the bee once more

Published 11:19am Thursday, January 17, 2013

When it came down to the final two contestants at the seventh grade spelling bee, each felt a sense of deja vu.

Riley Stratton gives a subtle smile Wednesday afternoon as judges announce him as winner of the seventh grade spelling bee at Ellis Middle School.

“Here we go again,” Kaya Feist was thinking as she looked at her competitor, Riley Stratton. Last year, their standoff lasted to 21 rounds.

Things went a bit quicker this year, and Riley won the bee on the 16th round. The Ellis Middle School seventh grade spelling bee was one of three bees to happen at the school Wednesday, and was part of the district’s participation in the Scripps Spelling Bee.

“I was surprised I did this well,” Riley said. “I really did get lucky.”

While the words he had to spell didn’t worry him, Riley said he wasn’t sure he would have gotten some of the other students’ words.

Kaya said she was very lucky with most of the words she had to spell, and only had trouble with one or two of them.

Students were called up one by one to spell out their words. At the end of each round, those who misspelled were disqualified and returned to the audience to watch their peers continue.

Riley said he was excited to move on to the district spelling bee on Jan. 30.

“You get to get out of class,” he joked. “I’m good with that.”

The other students in the top five will also move on to the district bee.

Students passed a qualifying test in mid-December. Teacher Eliza Kelly, who organized Ellis’ spelling bees, said 26 seventh-graders participated.

Spelling bee winners:

Banfield Elementary:

1. Isabella Pihlstrom

2. Hannah Finney

3. Molly Stromlund

Neveln Elementary:

1. Anthony Cohenour

2. Jaren Steene

3. Jack Johnson

Southgate Elementary:

1. Mathew Rembao

2. Noah Wollersheim

3. Trey Myers

Sumner Elementary:

1. Jackson Goetz

2. Morgan Thompson

3. Avery Thompson

Ellis Middle School:

Sixth grade

1. Eleanor Hinchcliffe

2. Ian Murphy

3. (tie) Henry Hinchcliffe, Philip Brogan and Abby Schammel

6. Madeline Shipler

Seventh grade

1. Riley Stratton

2. Kaya Feist

3. Sydney Johnson

4. (tie) Sam Bailey, Josh Brehmer and Josh Bollum

Eighth grade

1. Kari Lynn Finley-Cook

2. Patrick Sheehan

3. Grace Thoen

4. (tie) Trent Brown, Au­tumn Beske and Naila Kosut


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