After more than a dozen rounds of spelling, three elementary and three middle schoolers are one step closer to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
County students faced off on Tuesday and Wednesday in elementary and middle school divisions. Each speller had been the champion at their respective school.
Only the top three of each division earned a spot to compete at the Central Virginia Regional Spelling Bee, which is planned for March 11 at Albemarle High School.
In the elementary school division, Vihaan Rastogi of Baker-Butler took the top spot, with Graysen Wickline of Stone-Robinson placing second and Hanna Belander of Broadus Woods placing third. Saurish Srimath of Henley won in the middle school division, followed by Audrey Ishler of Burley and Elis Worley of Walton.
“We are so proud of every one of our students who competed this week,” said language arts coaches Kimberly Gibson and Andrea Blount in a joint statement for Albemarle County Public Schools.
They noted that the students showed knowledge and interest in the etymology of words. “This enabled them to correctly spell new and challenging words, reflected in the number of rounds it took to complete the bee,” they said.
So what does it take to be a county champion? According to a statement, Vihaan won with the word “ammunition” in the 14th round of the elementary school bee. Meanwhile, Saurish clinched the middle school bee’s top title in the 13th round with “ballyhoo.”