A Columbus fifth-grader finished second Friday during the 2018 Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains.
Owen Steele of Hannan Magnet Academy won the Muscogee County School District’s competition Jan. 31 in the Columbus Museum, where he prevailed after 13 rounds eliminated 44 other contestants. Then, after another 13 rounds Feb. 24 at Fort Valley State University, Owen won the regional title to qualify for the state event.
“We are so proud of him,” Hannan principal Lisa Whitaker told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email.
The Ledger-Enquirer is trying to reach Owen for comment.
Kyu-Carlo Alegre of Carrollton Junior High School emerged as the winner among 19 competitors after 16 rounds totaling 156 words, according to the GAE’s news release. Kyu-Carlo qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship in National Harbor, Md., May 29-31. If he isn’t able to compete, Owen would take his place.
In the 11th round Kyo-Carlo spelled "stramineous" and became the first of two finalists. Owen and Griffin Lee of Glynn County went through three more rounds before Owen spelled "scalare" to advance to the final rounds against Kyu-Carlo.
Owen and Kyu-Carlo went through two more rounds until Owen missed "clavecin" and Kyu-Carlo spelled "hyaloid" and "agrypnia" to become Georgia's 2018 spelling champion.
In addition to his first-place trophy and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national championship, Kyu-Carlo received $1,000 from GAE, an iPad Pro and a $50 Visa gift card from Horace Mann Insurance Companies, $50 from Best Buy of Cumming, Ga., a one-year online subscription from Encyclopedia Britannica Premium) a $100 U.S. Savings Bond as the Samuel L. Sugarman Award and a GAE Bee Champion lapel pin.
Owen, as runner-up, took home a second-place trophy, $500 from GAE, an iPad Pro and a $25 Visa gift card from Horace Mann Insurance Companies and a Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary-11th Edition from Merriam-Webster.