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Elrod repeats with second spelling title

Dibrell eighth-grader Haley Elrod emerged from a field of 25 sagacious contestants to win the annual Warren County Spelling Bee held Tuesday night at WCMS.
The win is Haley’s second straight in the local bee. She outlasted top spellers from the county’s eight elementary schools to earn the title.
“I really want to make it to Washington,” said Haley while holding her first-place trophy. “I’m going to start studying now.”
To advance to the Scripts Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., Haley has to win the News Sentinel Southern Appalachia Regional Spelling Bee on March 16. She has competed in that event twice before, but never advanced to the finals.
“You have to take a written test with 30 words and you have to spell all 30 correctly,” said Haley. “If you miss one, you’re out. You don’t get to go on stage.”
Haley was one of five finalists Tuesday night. The other four were Morrison fourth-grader Caleb Smith, Irving College fifth-grader Gracie Hubbard, WCMS sixth-grader Gracie Upchurch, and Centertown seventh-grader Courtney Curtis.
The words got tough in a hurry as the finals only lasted three rounds. Words included “tortellini,” “calliope,” and “proscenium.”
Haley won by correctly spelling “stalactite” and “epilation.”
Dibrell Elementary has dominated the annual spelling bee and Haley is the second two-time winner from the school.
For pictures of all the spelling bee finalists, see page 5-A.


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