Prairie Advocate News

Spelling Bee Top ThreeThe Regional Spelling Bee Top 3 are, left to right, 1st, 2nd & 3rd: Christian Wilks, Emily Legel, and Megan O'Brien.

Savanna's Emily Legel
Spells Her Way to 2nd Place in Regional Spelling Bee

If you ask Emily Legel how to spell just about any word, odds are she'll get it right. In fact, it took twenty rounds to find the word that could end her bid to claim first place at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Carroll, Jo Daviess and Stephenson Regional Spelling Bee. The event was sponsored by Marie Stiefel, Regional Superintendent, and was held Tuesday, February 10 at the Pearl City High School Gym. Thirty-one students from 16 schools in grades four through eight competed in the Spelling Bee. The contestants were the first and second place winners or the alternate from their local school district contests.

Besides the 2nd Place-winning Emily, there are two other students in the Prairie Advocate readership territory who finished in the Top 12, qualifying to advance to the March 7 National qualifying round in Freeport. Riley Hepperly, River Ridge, placed 9th, and Eastland's Peyton Sturtevant rounded off the group at the 12th spot.

Other local students representing their schools honorably were Ryan Habben and Shauna Frederick, Chadwick-Milledgeville; Katherine Murphy, Eastland; Zach Downs and Zach Shippy, Pearl City; Alexandra Parr, River Ridge; and Ashleigh Olson, West Carroll. These fine spellers made it through rounds 1 to 3. Peyton was out in the 3rd round, but was the 12th student to remain, qualifying her to advance. Riley made it to the fourth round.

Spelling Bee Group

The 12 finalists eligible to compete in Freeport on March 7. Back Row: Peyton Sturtevant, Journee Berry, Adam Feiner, Andrew Lammers, Jacob Plapp, and Luke Meyer.
Front Row:Jaryd Whitmore, Christian Wilks, Emily Legel, Megan O'Brien, Andrew Colley, and Riley Hepperly. (PA article, photos & video/Tom Kocal)

The final 3, Christian Wilks, Emily Legel, and Megan O'Brien, battled for 12 rounds before Megan was stymied. Christian and Emily calmly worked their way to the 20th round before Emily was tripped up. Christian won by correctly spelling "herpetology."

The Top 12 Regional winners are: First Place: Christian Wilks,7th Grade, Christian Homeschool Education Network; Second Place:Emily Legel, 6th Grade, Home schooled, representing West Carroll Intermediate School; Third Place:Megan O'Brien, 8th Grade, Freeport Junior High School; Fourth Place:Jacob Plapp, 8th Grade, Warren Junior High School; Fifth Place:Luke Meyer, 8th Grade, Dakota Junior High School; Sixth Place: Jaryd Whitmore, 6th Grade, Aquin Catholic Junior High School; Seventh Place: Adam Feiner, 8th Grade, Aquin Catholic Junior High School; Eighth Place:Andrew Colley, 5th Grade, Tri-County Christian School; Ninth Place:Riley Hepperly, 7th Grade, River Ridge Middle School; Tenth Place:Andrew Lammers, 8th Grade, Freeport Junior High School; Eleventh Place:Journee Berry, 8th Grade, Immanuel Lutheran School; Twelfth Place:Peyton Sturtevant, 8th Grade, Eastland Middle School.

Through the sponsorship of the Regional Office, the first three place winners received trophy clocks while the other nine places received a Certificate of Participation.

The spellers now advance to the Journal-Standard Spelling Bee, which will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 7 at the Freeport Public Library. The winner of the Journal-Standard Bee will receive an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26 to May.

Video by Tom Kocal