‘Salvation’ secures spelling bee title
Sarah Groening calmly stepped to the microphone, awaiting her winning word in Friday afternoon’s Marion Elementary School spelling bee at the gymnasium.
With Maria Carlson still alive heading into the 11th round despite missing her previous word, Sarah easily spelled “salvation” to clinch the championship and eliminate Maria from contention.
After taking runner-up as a fourth grader a year ago, Sarah outlasted Maria and Erin Regnier to secure a spot in the Marion county spelling bee Feb. 7 at Peabody.
Sarah will compete as school champion. Maria will also compete as first runner-up, and Erin will go to the county bee as an alternate.
The words proved difficult from the start. Seven spellers were eliminated the first round and only four remained through five rounds.
The trio of Sarah, Maria and Erin battled through three rounds before Erin bowed out in the ninth.
Maria tripped on “cinder,” setting Sarah up for the championship, pending a correctly spelled word.
As a county qualifier a year ago, Sarah should benefit from last year’s experience to better her finish this year.
Marion Middle School had its spelling Tuesday. Top finishers were Abby Wesner, first; Haley Kraus, second; and Shannon Taylor, alternate.