AVON — After five rounds in the second preliminary spelling bee Friday night, only two students were left standing.
Tensions were high as Owen Miller and Sam Golik stood next to each other waiting to hear the next word from announcer Bruce Van Dyke. Someone would have to get two words right to win.
Owen, a seventh-grader, and Sam, an eighth-grader, both failed to spell “koan,” a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, and then again both misspelled “amenable.” Owen then missed “julep,” which Sam got right, but then Sam missed “phenomenon,” putting them both back at zero.
On Owen’s turn, he nailed “phenomenon” and spelled “allegro” correctly to capture first place.
“When I heard the last one, I knew it, so I was kind of happy,” Owen said after the bee.
But when asked how he studied, Owen was humble.
“I don’t know; not very much this year,” he said.
The top 16 spellers from the second preliminary bee and the top 16 from the first preliminary will face off at the finals 7 p.m. Friday at Avon Middle School on Long Road. The winner Friday will represent the Educational Service Center Region 2 and The Chronicle-Telegram at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee Competitions the week of May 29 in Washington, D.C.
The 34th annual spelling bee is sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County and The Chronicle.