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Bartels Takes Home First Place at Webster County Spelling Bee

Kate Baker

January 31, 2019


Apprehensive. That was Sydney Bartels’s mood at the 2019 Webster County spelling bee. It was also the word that she spelled to be deemed the champion speller. She competed against 30 of the best spellers in Webster County at Blue Hill High School on January 23. She wasn’t the only Silver Lake participant who held their own though. Lexi Wengler and Mabel Johnston also made it through the four rounds of written spelling tests to compete in the oral round, making it to the top 10. After some tough rounds of competition, Johnston claimed the fifth place as a fourth grader. Samantha Bonifas, an eighth-grader who has competed in the spelling bee every year since second grade and made it through the oral round three times explains the process and nerves that participants experience: “The oral round is something that involves luck in whether you get an easy word or not, so we were all hoping that Syd would get words she knew. Then it came down to her and another boy. She did a great job of handling the nerves and staying calm while spelling the words which really pulled her to the top.” With her first-place finish, Bartels qualified for the state spelling bee held in Omaha on March 2. Some other participants for Silver Lake were Makenna Karr, Sophie Schmidt, Milla Butler, Sophie Butler, Logan Duester, and Maddie Karr.

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