AVON — The East Preliminary Spelling Bee ended with a close battle between two Avon Middle School students.
After correctly spelling the word “furlough,” seventh-grader Kaitlin Hall was named the winner at Friday’s spelling bee at Avon Heritage North Elementary School. Runner-up was fellow Eagle, eighth-grader Kelly Malloy.
The final round became a battle of words as the two middle school students went head-to-head.
After Kaitlin correctly spelled her final word, the two girls shared an embrace and smiles.
And while they were surprised by their final placement, their parents, Matt and Kathy Hall and Sean and Amy Malloy, had a feeling it would come down to their daughters.
“I am not surprised it was these two,” Kathy Hall said. “They are both really good spellers, and so is Nicholas.”
Hall was referring to fellow Avon Middle School student Nicholas Coffey, who placed third at Friday night’s spelling bee.
Amy Malloy credits her daughter’s love of reading and writing with her runner-up win.
“It’s amazing and I am really shocked since I didn’t practice very often,” Kelly Malloy said.
But the crowned winner, Kaitlin, admitted she has been practicing every day since January.
“It feels really great because I worked so hard at this,” Kaitlin said, holding her trophy.
Friday night’s spelling bee included students from Avon Middle School, Avon Holy Trinity School, Avon Lake Learwood Middle School, Columbia Middle School, Elyria Northwood Middle School, Elyria Westwood Middle School, Elyria Community School, Midview Middle School and Sheffield Middle School.
On March 1, the West Preliminary Spelling Bee crowned Emma Macartney as the winner with Ben Yuhasz as the runner-up. Both students are from Amherst Junior High School.
Next week, Kaitlin and Kelly, plus Emma and Ben, will join 32 finalists at the March 15 Regional Finals Bee at Midview West Elementary School.
The champion of the final bee will represent the Educational Service Center, Region 2 and The Chronicle-Telegram at the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee the week of May 26 in Washington, D.C.
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.